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Judge reduces Sarah Wairimu's detention by two days

Friday September 6 2019

Sarah Wairimu

Sarah Wairimu (left) with her lawyer Philip Murgor on September 6, 2019. PHOTO | RICHARD MUNGUTI | NATION MEDIA GROUP 

MAUREEN KAKAH
By MAUREEN KAKAH
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The High Court on Friday reduced dentation time of Sarah Wairimu, who is the wife of missing tycoon Tob Cohen, from 12 to 10 days.

Judge Daniel Ogembo ruled that 10 days is sufficient for police to complete investigation.

Ms Wairimu went to High Court to seek a review after a lower court detained her for 12 days.

INVESTIGATION

Through her lawyer, Philip Murgor, the court was told that there were no sufficient grounds to warrant her continued detention since the police have not yet preferred any charge against her.

Mr Murgor argued that her continued detention for the said period is a violation of her rights and that Kiambu Chief Magistrate Priscilla Gichohi who issued the directive misdirected herself.

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“The arrest and imminent arraignment of Ms Wairimu before court without any charge preferred against her is in breach of her fundamental right to liberty and freedom,” said Mr Murgor.

He faulted the fact that the Magistrate court acknowledged that Ms Wairimu is not a flight risk.

He pointed fingers at the police for allegedly leaking information to the media rather than informing her so that she could be ready to defend herself.

Mr Cohen is a former CEO of Philips Electronics East Africa and was reported missing on July 19.

His wife, Ms Wairimu is being held on suspicion of being involved with his disappearance as well as the plot to have him killed.

Preliminary investigations had established that the suspect coached some witnesses to give false testimony on Mr Cohen’s movements. However the said witnesses recanted their statements and gave true accounts.

She allegedly coached their employees on what to tell investigative officers concerning her husband’s movements on the day he went missing.

Employees at the Dutchman’s home allegedly told the police that on the afternoon of July 20, he was picked up and driven off in a white car while carrying only a briefcase.

The couple are embroiled in a divorce case involving multi-million shilling property.

The police had expressed fear that if released from custody, Ms Wairimu could interfere with evidence as well as prevent witnesses lined up to testify against her from doing so.

According to Chief Magistrate Gichohi, it is highly probable that Mr Cohen was kidnapped from his residence and taken by the suspect as well as her associates to an unknown place and thereafter killed.

In her ruling, she had noted that the suspect was reported to have pushed Mr Cohen off a flight of stairs on July 8 causing him to fall and sustaining injuries.

Mr Cohen is said to have reported the matter at Parklands Police Station and later sought treatment at MP Shah Hospital in Nairobi.

She had also pointed out that the matter is complex and required more time and that investigating officers had provided enough reasons to have her detained.

Ms Wairimu who is being held at Muthaiga police station now wants the High Court to have her released unconditionally.