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Lawyer of murdered tycoon says will reflects his wish

Sunday September 22 2019

Tob Cohen

The family of slain businessman Tob Cohen - Bernard (left), lawyer Chege Kirundi and sister Gabrielle Van Straten - hold a press conference concerning the reading of his will, at Bruce House, Nairobi, on September 20, 2019. The will has been opened. PHOTO | JEFF ANGOTE | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

RICHARD MUNGUTI
By RICHARD MUNGUTI
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SAM KIPLAGAT
By SAM KIPLAGAT
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The author and custodian of murdered Dutchman Tob Cohen’s will has said there is nothing to hide about the distribution of the estate of the billionaire businessman.

Veteran lawyer Chege Kirundi, who drew the will, said he released it to Cohen’s relatives ahead of Monday’s Jewish funeral because it included details of how he wanted to be buried.

CONTEST

“I released the will to Cohen’s brother and his sister to see his wishes. Whatever they will do with it is up to them,” Mr Kirundi told the Sunday Nation.

The lawyer of over 40 years standing said after the burial of Cohen, contents of the will may be made public.

“I opened the will in my chambers and read it to Bernard Cohen, his brother and sister Gabrielle as the law requires,” Mr Kirundi said.

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He said the widow, Sarah Wairimu Kamotho, who is detained at the Lang'ata Womens’ Prison over the death of her husband, has said through her lawyer Philip Murgor that she will contest it at the High Court.

“I wish her the best in her endeavour to contest the will of her late husband,” Mr Kirundi stated.

He said that he did not disclose the contents of the will to anyone else except the immediate family members who intended to know the desires in regard to the disposal of his remains.

DIVORCE

“After the burial at the Jewish Cemetery on Wangari Maathai Road, a decision will be made on making public the contents of the will but before then I cannot disclose what it says,” Mr Kirundi said.

He added that Sarah spoke through Mr Murgor, before Lady Justice Jessie Lesiit, as she applied to be released on bond to fight for her property.

Mr Murgor said the media had reported Cohen had allocated his Sh400 million Villa in Kitisuru to Gabrielle.

Mr Murgor told the judge that, as far as Sarah was concerned, 50 per cent of the estate of the late Cohen belongs to her.

Mr Murgor also said there is a pending divorce case and the central issue is the property.

In an application by Sarah at the High Court on September 19, she is seeking to be escorted to attend the burial of her husband so that she can pay her last respects and give him a befitting send-off.

Sarah is facing a murder charge related to husband’s death on the night of July 19/20.

BURIAL

She will plead to the charge on September 26 and on the same day apply to be released on bond.

State prosecutors Nicholas Mutuku and Allexander Muteti said they will oppose her bail application.

Sarah’s plea to attend the burial will be decided Monday, with the burial slated for 2pm.

So far, Sarah has made several requests in court seeking various orders, even before she is formally charged.

She was first presented before Justice Lesiit but she could not plead to the charge because she was yet to undergo a mental assessment, a mandatory requirement before a murder suspect answers to the charge.

She was brought back on September 12 and the court was informed that the assessment was yet to be done.

URGENTLY

Subsequently, Justice Lesiit directed that she be brought back to court on September 26 for plea taking and directions on the application for bail, which she has filed through Mr Murgor.

Other than the application to be released on bail, Sarah successfully applied to be allowed to attend the post-mortem examination, which was performed at Chiromo mortuary on Thursday. Justice Stella Mutuku granted her the wish and she attended accompanied by prison officials and her lawyer.

And on Friday, she filed yet another application, seeking to be allowed to attend Mr Cohen’s burial.

“The applicant who avers that she has absolutely nothing to do with her husband’s death, and has the constitutional right under Article 50(2)(a) of the constitution of Kenya, to be considered innocent unless and until proven guilty by a competent court of law, would suffer irreparable harm should this application fail to be heard urgently,” her lawyer told the court.