Widow of Nairobi trader to know if she'll stand trial

DPP wants suspect put on her defence, saying they've proved beyond reasonable doubt that she was involved.

In Summary

•  Defence wants the accused acquitted saying veracity of evidence adduced by the prosecution  was worthless and waste of time.

• Victim apparently drowned while on family vacation at Medina Palms resort in Watamu in 2015.

Mombasa law courts.
Mombasa law courts.
Image: FILE

The widow of a Nairobi businessman accused of murdering him on a family vacation at Medina Palms in Watamu will wait until December 3 to know if she will stand trial. 

Jimmy Baburam died of drowning under unclear circumstances at the Amani villas of Medina Palms resort in  Watamu on Jul 26, 2015.

Widow Amina Shiraz will either have a case to answer and be placed on trial or will be acquitted.

Shiraz was charged alongside her alleged American lover Jacob Schmazle, who is now a fugitive.

The Mombasa High Court issued an arrest warrant against him last year. He is wanted by Interpol.

On Wednesday the prosecution, defence and victims appeared before Mombasa High Court Judge Dorah Chepkwony to give highlights of their written submissions after all prosecution witnesses had testified.

Shiraz's lawyer Ahmednasir Abdulahirged the court to acquit saying the prosecution had failed to prove beyond reasonable dought that the accused had a case to answer.

He told the court that veracity of the evidence adduced by the prosecution was worthless.

He said the relevance of the evidence adduced by the 18 witnesses was a waste of everyone's time.

"The motives of witnesses brought to this court by the prosecution — some were driven by vengeance, some were guns for hire there was the main contractor who bought the witnesses and a subcontractor," he said.

Senior Assistant DPP Vincent Monda dismissed Abdulahi's assertions as baseless and said the evidence was credible and reliable.

He cited the witness who said he saw Shiraz and Schmazle drowning Baburam in the swimming pool.
Monda dismissed claims that the deceased's father, David Baburam, was behind a scheme to have her jailed so as to enjoy the empire of his late son.



The DPP said accused person and the American fugitive killed the Nairobi businessman and she should stand trial.

He said Shiraz applied for succession and the parties who were to benefit from the estate included her father instead of the father in law and her brothers and sisters.

''The first prosecution witness —David Baburam — was the father in law to the accused person. Why to exclude him if the properties are in the name of his son? Instead, she introduced stranger who happens to be the father of the accused,'' Monda said.

The DPP said the deceased's father never contracted of subcontracted anybody to fix his daughter in law but wanted to know the truth on what transpired during the day his son died.

"The truth is the accused person together with Jacob unlawfully killed the deceased," he said.

Monda said all witnesses provided tangible evidence and were not coached to give false testimonies.

This is after Abdulahi claimed that the Investigation officer was used by the deceased's father to build the case to take over the empire.

The DPP said the Investigation officer did his work diligently and the accused should be placed on her defence as she has a case to answer.

He cited witnesses such as the watchman who saw the actual drowning of Baburam at Night, M-Pesa messages between Shiraz and a Sergeant Abdi Shee who was then in charge of Watamu Tourist Police Unit "so as to conceal evidence".

Further, he said Shiraz and the American fugitive were in a sexual relationship.

Nashid Maru, the victim's lawyer said the death has left a bleeding hole in the hearts of the victims who have had to persevere.

(Edited by V. Graham)