TOUGH CONDITIONS

Cohen's widow Sarah Wairimu freed on Sh2m bail

She is accused of killing her husband, whose body was found in an empty water tank

In Summary

• Wairimu was arrested 45 days ago in connection with the death of her husband, who had been missing since July 19-20

• The Kitisuru mansion is out of bounds for Wairimu as the house is a crime scene

 

Sarah Wairimu, the widow of the slain Dutch tycoon Tob Cohen, at the Milimani law court in Nairobi on September 12, 2019.
Sarah Wairimu, the widow of the slain Dutch tycoon Tob Cohen, at the Milimani law court in Nairobi on September 12, 2019.
Image: ENOS TECHE

Sarah Wairimu, the widow of slain Dutch businessman Tob Cohen, was freed yesterday on Sh4 million bond and two sureties or Sh2 million bail.

She did not return to the posh Kitisuru mansion she shared with Cohen as it is a crime scene.

Wairimu was arrested 45 days ago in connection with the death of her husband who had been missing since July 19-20. His body was found in an empty water tank in his compound on September 13.

The bond terms included convincing the court how she will support herself as the case proceeds.

Her father and two family friends were also to tell the court that they are willing to host her and where.

Justice Stella Mutuku barred her from going near Tobs Ltd, a company she co-owned with Cohen until further court directions.

She is also not to contact her in-laws Gabrielle and Benard Cohen.

Wairimu was barred from getting in touch with potential witnesses either directly or through her agents.

Justice Mutuku said that bail is a constitutional right unless there are compelling reasons.

She the prosecution had failed to prove that the suspect is a flight risk. “I, therefore, find that this court has no reason to deny the accused bond and I consequently allow the application for bail.” 

The court had been told that the DCI is holding the accused’s passport and there was no evidence that she has another one.

The prosecuted had opposed her release on bond on the ground that she had no fixed abode since the matrimonial home is a crime scene.

But Wairimu convinced the court that her father, Japheth Kamotho, who was in court, was ready to host her. She also named two family friends willing to house her, one in Kileleshwa and the other on State House road.

“On the issue of interference with witnesses, the defence does not have a list of witnesses,” she ruled.

The judge said the prosecution should have finalised protecting witnesses since the accused has been in custody since August 28.

The prosecution said they will appeal the bail ruling.

Meanwhile, her co-accused Peter Karanja was yesterday charged with murdering Cohen on the night of July 19-20 with others not before the court.

Prosecutor Catherine Mwaniki asked the court to consolidate Karanja's case with  Wairimu’s as the particulars of the offence are the same.

“We pray that the court allows us to consolidate the matter,” Mwaniki said, adding that she would oppose the accused’s release on bail.

The defence told the judge that they filed a formal bond application and serve the prosecution and victims.

Lawyer Ham Lagat said that Karanja is unwell and asked the court to allow him to see by a diabetologist.

The judge directed the officer in charge of the Industrial Area Prison to escort the accused to the diabetes clinic at Kenyatta National Hospital.

Lawyer Philip Murgor, for Wairimu, opposed the consolidation of his client's case with that of Karanja.

Judge Mutuku directed both parties to appear before her on November 12 for direction.