Kenyan Olympic winner Wanjiru charged over death threat

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World Olympic Marathon champion Samuel Wanjiru in court
Image caption,
Mr Wanjiru became Kenya's first Olympic champion in Beijing in 2008

Kenya's Olympic Marathon champion Samuel Wanjiru has been charged with threatening to kill his wife and illegal possession of an AK-47 firearm.

Mr Wanjiru, the first Kenyan to win a gold Olympic marathon medal, was also charged with assault and threatening to kill a domestic worker.

He was arrested on Wednesday after police were called to his house in Nyahururu, 150km north-west of Nairobi.

The 24-year-old, who was released on cash bail, denies the charges.

He says he is being framed.

Prosecutors said Mr Wanjiru had threatened to kill his wife Teresiah Njeri using the rifle following an argument. He is also alleged to have hit a security guard twice with a rifle butt.

BBC East Africa correspondent Will Ross says Mr Wanjiru is one of Kenya's best known athletes.

He won Kenya's first Olympic marathon gold in Beijing in 2008. At 21, he was the youngest winner since 1932.

He has since set course records for the marathons in London and Chicago.

The case is due to be heard on 9 January.