Tuesday June 20, 2006
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Kenyan athlete released from prison

 By Isaac Ongiri

Former 800 metres world champion Billy Konchellah, who was jailed for two in Finland over rape is now a free man.

Family spokesman Dalton Konchellah on Monday said the former Kenyan track hero was in Oulu, Finland, after serving the sentence.

He said the athlete — who stepped out of prison nearly a month ago — would be returning to Kenya soon.

"Konchellah is a free man after serving the sentence and will soon be coming to Kenya," he said.

The athlete was tried in Finland, his adopted country, after a British court ordered his deportation two years ago. The family criticised the European media for allegedly tarnishing the reputation of Konchellah through bad publicity.

"The media in Europe has not been fair to Africans who do well in sports. They painted Billy black but we as a family know that he is not what they think he is," said Dalton.

The athlete has been listed among 100 sportsmen involved in rape incidents in a web publication, New Nation News.

Billy, who was a student in Birmingham, Britain, when the incident allegedly occurred, had his education disrupted. He was said to be preparing to start his studies afresh.


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