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Tob Cohen murder: Widow to plead to the charge next week

Thursday September 26 2019

Sarah Wairimu Kimotho

Sarah Wairimu Kimotho before a Nairobi court on September 26, 2019 where she was charged with the murder of her husband, Dutch billionaire Tob Cohen. PHOTO | DENNIS ONSONGO | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

SAM KIPLAGAT
By SAM KIPLAGAT
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RICHARD MUNGUTI
By RICHARD MUNGUTI
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Ms Sarah Wairimu Kamotho, who is accused of the murder of her husband, Tob Cohen, will plead to the charge next week, after the victim’s family questioned her representation by Philip Murgor.

The plea was on Thursday pushed to October 1 after the prosecution and lawyer Cliff Ombeta for the Cohen family contested Ms Wairimu’s representation by Philip Murgor.

Mr Ombeta said Mr Murgor he has never resigned as a special prosecutor following his appointment by the Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji.

"I want to establish from the DPP whether he revoked appointment of Murgor as a state prosecutor,” State prosecutor Catherine Mwaniki told the court as she requested the postponement of the plea.

But Mr Murgor told the judge he resigned as a state prosecutor on March 7 after waiting for two months without being given any assignments.

STATE PROSECUTOR

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The defence lawyer asked the judge to consider the rights of Ms Wairimu, who has been in custody for the last 30 days.

The judge heard that if it is established Mr Murgor is a state prosecutor then Ms Wairimu will have to engage another lawyer.

Lady Justice Stellah Mutuku directed Mr Haji to clarify whether Mr Murgor is a state prosecutor.

Ms Mwaniki was asked to verify with Mr Haji whether Mr Murgor’s appointment on January 2019 has been revoked or not.

Judge Mutuku directed information be relayed to the court and Mr Murgor about his position so that he can put in a response.

CONTEMPT

During the Thursday session, Ms Mwaniki also said she needed time to file contempt proceedings against Mr Murgor and his client for commenting on the case on September 24 during the burial of the late Cohen in breach of a court order.

Further she wants to some of the prosecution witnesses, who she said were crucial to her case, placed under protection.

At the same time, Ms Mwaniki wanted Ms Kamotho to be cited for contempt for the remarks she made during the burial of Mr Cohen on Tuesday, against a court order. The prosecutor said her remarks touched on the investigations, yet Justice Jessie Lesiit had warned anyone against discussing the case.

In reply, Mr Murgor told the court that he resigned as a public prosecutor on March 7, after failing to be assigned any job for several months. He said he has appeared in several cases representing persons facing charges and no one has raised an issue on his representation.

The former DPP, however, said the prosecution and Mr Ombeta should file a formal application and allow him to respond to the claims.

MEDIA HOUSE

On the issue of contempt of court, Mr Murgor said the “Dutch ambassador, the widow and two politicians, whose role we are yet to understand, addressed the mourners and the widow said what a widow had to say in her situation”. He maintained that no one discussed the investigations and “luckily we have the recording”.

He accused DCI boss George Kinoti of commenting on the succession issue through an interview with a Dutch media house.

Mr Murgor also said a state counsel had posted on social media comments as to why Ms Kamotho cannot inherit Mr Cohen’s property against a court order.

He said his client should be allowed to plead to the charges so that she could apply to be released on bond, adding that the prosecution was yet to file their response to the application. The lawyer protested that Ms Kamotho has been in custody for 30 days.

Justice Mutuku directed the parties to file their applications before the end of today and allow Mr Murgor to respond. She said she will give her ruling and directions on October 2.