A US national of Kenyan origin was sentenced in Switzerland Monday to 16 years prison for the murder of the daughter of Kenyan Olympic athlete Julius Korir, Swiss media reported.
The man, whose name was not given, was found guilty in a Bern canton regional court of holding a long-time acquaintance prisoner in her apartment before stabbing her to death in the village of Reconvilier in January 2017, the ATS news agency reported.
The victim was reportedly Faith Chepkosgei Korir, a geriatric nurse and the daughter of Julius Korir, a revered figure in Kenya who won the 3,000-metre steeplechase at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles.
The Olympic athlete addressed the court during the trial last week, demanding justice for his daughter. “I would like to know why he came from America to kill my daughter,” he reportedly said in Swahili. The convicted killer’s sentence was longer than the 15 years requested by the prosecutor in the case, Raphael Arn.
Arn had charged that the defendant acted in a “barbaric manner”, strangling his victim after stabbing her, ATS said. The man’s defence lawyer meanwhile had asked that his client serve no more than seven years, pointing to his assertion that he and the victim had entered into a death pact.
The prosecutor, who contended that the accused had been deeply in love with his victim, rejected the idea of an attempted double-suicide and maintained the accused had injured himself to support his story. The victim and her husband, Swiss runner Florian Wahli, often hosted elite African runners who came to Switzerland to take part in races there.
The accused, a US marine in his 30s and a distant relative of the victim, had reportedly stayed with them on several occasions. Speaking to the court last week, Wahli, who was in Kenya with the couple’s young son at the time of his wife’s murder, reportedly said he hoped the accused would receive the “harshest possible” sentence. Once the US national has served his sentence, he will be expelled from Swiss territory and barred from returning for 10 years.