UNDER POLICE SUPERVISION

Sarah Wairimu allowed to pick her clothes from Kitisuru

Justice Mutuku lets Cohen's widow access to bedroom of contested matrimonial home

In Summary

• Items to be picked include clothes, shoes, handbags and grooming tools

• Court declines to grant her access to the rest of the rooms in the house to pick other things that she had listed

Sarah Wairimu, her father Japheth and lawyer Philip Murgor at the Mililamani law courts on October 11, 2019
REPRIEVE: Sarah Wairimu, her father Japheth and lawyer Philip Murgor at the Mililamani law courts on October 11, 2019
Image: ENOS TECHE

The widow of slain Dutch tycoon Tob Cohen was on Thursday given access to her bedroom to pick her personal effects including clothes, shoes, handbags and grooming tools.

However, in a ruling read by Judge Daniel Ogembo, Justice Stella Mutuku denied her access to foods and alcohol, her car, her daughter’s belongings, two dogs Major and Snow, electronics, files from her office and paintings.

Wairimu had sought court intervention to be allowed to go back to her home and for the court to order the police who were guarding her home to vacate.

 
 

Justice Mutuku ruled that the court had no jurisdiction to give her back her Kitisuru home that is currently being guarded by police officers.

“This court is not clothed with the jurisdiction to determine who owns and who does not own the property and whatever is in that property," she said, adding that hers was not a family division court.

While allowing Wairimu to go to the house, the judge said she should be accompanied by officers investigating Cohen's murder. She ruled that the items to be collected should be the ones deemed necessary to afford her comfortable life under the circumstances of the case.

“This shall be done under the strict supervision of the police and the investigating officers in this case and in the presence of the defence counsel. The collection of these items shall be restricted to the room occupied by Sarah prior to her arrest.” 

Judge Mutuku directed the police to facilitate smooth execution of the order. Items collected as directed are to be documented and signed by both Sarah and the offices and the list filed in court.

Last year when she was released on bail, the court ordered Sarah not to go anywhere near their matrimonial home along Farasi Lane in Kitusuru.

“If for any reason the accused requires certain items, which may be necessary, from the said premises now under the DCI, the accused shall apply for authority from this court to visit the premises and she shall give particulars of what she requires from the premises for the determination and directions of this court,” the order said.

 

Judge Mutuku said the intention of issuing the order was to give Sarah the opportunity to seek court authority to access her home and pick what was necessary for her upkeep, pending further orders on the issue of the property, which the state is treating as a crime scene.

However, according to the judge, the order was not meant to open doors for litigating the property and what was in it.

“From my understanding of the prayers sought in this application, it is clear to me that the application seeks more than the order of this court contemplated. Therein lies the problem,” the judge said.

The court was also informed that the forensic examination of all the exhibits collected from the scene had not been concluded, hence the there was a need to keep the property under the supervision of the police until the exercise was dispensed with.

At the same time, the court dismissed an application by Wairimu in which she sought to have DPP Noordin Haji and DCI boss George Kinoti jailed for contempt of court. The judge said the application was filed in the wrong court.

“It is the view of the court, and I so find that I am persuaded by the arguments of all the respondents, that this court does not have the jurisdiction to determine this application. In view of this, I hereby allow the preliminary objections and strike out the application by Wairimu for failure to follow the law and procedure."