'EXAMINED BY EXPERT'

Purported Cohen's will is fake, says widow

Sarah Wairimu wants sister-in-law summoned so she cross-examine her over the document.

In Summary

• Wairimu says she would have reported the matter to the police for investigations but felt that the state has been biased and partisan in the case.

• She says Emmanuel Kenga, the expert examiner, used 38 samples of the deceased's signatures to file the report.

Sarah Wairimu, the widow to slain businessman Tob Cohen, has accused her sister-in-law of filing a fake will in court.

Through lawyer Phillip Murgor, she claims they hired an expert document examiner who confirmed that the will was forged. In an affidavit filed in court, Wairimu says the will filed in court by Gabriele Van Straten is a forgery.

"I became sceptical about the authenticity of the signatures and initials on the will to be those of Cohen and I immediately sought an independent opinion of an expert document examiner," she claims.

She says Emmanuel Kenga, the expert examiner, used 38 samples of the deceased's signatures to file the report.

"After comparison and analysis, Kenga came to the conclusion that the purported will was a complete forgery as there were no similarities between the signatures in the will and the known signatures and further the questioned signatures in the will were written by a different author," her application reads.

Wairimu says she would have reported the matter to the police for investigations but felt that the state has been biased and partisan in the case.

"The DPP and the DCI, through their various officers, have shown themselves as being partisan, biased, scared, interested, corrupt or otherwise incompetent to independently investigate the matter," she claims.

She questions the decision by lawyer Chege Kirundi to open the purported will while Cohen had not been buried and she was on remand. In the application filed in court, Wairimu further seeks to cross-examine Gabriele Can Straten regarding material aspects surrounding the alleged forgery of the will. She wants the court to summon Gabriele.

She further wants the court to disqualify advocate Danstan Omari and his law firm from representing the Cohen family, arguing that they are conflicted as Omari is a witness in the murder case against her. Wairimu argues that Omari and lawyer Sahdrack Wambui are parties in the criminal case, hence should not be involved in the succession case.

Meanwhile, DCI boss George Kinoti and DPP Nordin Haji on Monday asked the court to remove them from the succession case filed by Sarah Wairimu in the Tob Cohen estate dispute. Wairimu filed a succession case and listed Haji and Kinoti as respondents.

The DCI and the DPP, through state counsel Catherine Mwaniki, have objected to being party to the case. Mwaniki told Justice Lydia Achode that the state has wrongly been included in the matter.

She said the DPP and the DCI have no power in the succession case, arguing that the application by Wairimu is fatally defective. Mwaniki also claimed that she had not given any evidence that the state has any interest in the property of the late Cohen. She said the DPP and the DCI's mandate does not allow them to be part in the distribution of the property in succession matters.

According to the state, the only way to remain neutral arbiters in the case is if they are removed from the case. In response, however, lawyer Phillip Murgor, acting for Wairimu, argued that they have properly been put in the case.

Murgor told the court that the state is in possession of the matrimonial home, hence is a party to the case. He alleged that the police are currently keeping guard at the home that was jointly owned by Wairimu and late Cohen. Mugor wants the DPP and the DCI barred from handing over the home to another party until the case is determined.

The ruling will be made on February 27.

Sarah Wairimu at the Jewish Cemetery along Wangari Maathai Road in Pangani, Nairobi, on February 3, 2020
MOURNING: Sarah Wairimu at the Jewish Cemetery along Wangari Maathai Road in Pangani, Nairobi, on February 3, 2020
Image: DOUGLAS OKIDDY