Cohen burial: Court to decide if Wairimu can attend ceremony

Wednesday March 18 2020

Ms Sarah Wairimu Kamotho. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP


In a rare application, a murder suspect has applied to be escorted from remand prison to attend the burial rites of the victim.

Ms Sarah Wairimu Kamotho, who is being detained at the Lang’ata Women’s Prison over the death of her husband Tob Cohen, is seeking to be allowed to attend the burial to be held at the Jewish Cemetery along Nairobi’s Wangari Mathai Road.


Defence lawyer Philip Murgor says, “unless the application is certified as urgent and heard earliest, Sarah, who has absolutely nothing to do with her husbands’ death, and has the constitutional right under Article 50(2) (a) to be presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty by a competent court of law, would not be denied of her right to accord her husband a decent burial.”

Lady Justice Jessie Lesiit will determine whether Ms Kamotho will be allowed to attend her husband’s burial on September 23, 2019.

Mr Kamotho, who has been charged with murdering Cohen, will take plea September 26, 2019 where she will also apply to be released on bond.


In her bond application, Ms Kamotho argues that she needs to fight for her husbands’ property which she claims to own 50 per cent.


Cohen disappeared on July 19/20, 2019 and his body was found in an underground water tank in his Kitisuru home on September 13.   

A deputy registrar of the High Court criminal division Jane Kamau directed the case be placed before Lady Justice Jessie Lesiit for directions on September 23.

However, Cohen’s family lawyer Cliff Ombeta said they were not opposed to the suspect attending the burial. Mr Murgor said the application was urgent.  

“That this honourable court be pleased to issue a production order to the Officer Commanding (OC) Lang’ata Women’s Prison to produce and escort Sarah Wairimu Kamotho to the Jewish Cemetery on Wangari Mathai Road on September 23, 2019 at 2pm to attend the funeral of the late Tob Cohen,” Mr Murgor said.


He said that on September 18, 2019 Lady Justice Stellah Mutuku ordered Ms Kamotho be escorted to the Chiromo Mortuary to attend the post-mortem of her late husband.

Mr Murgor said that lawyers for the parties on September 19, 2019 agreed to obtain court orders making the burial ceremony a private affair. 

“The Director of Public Prosecutions, the Director Criminal Investigations and Prison Authorities are requested by Sarah Wairimu Kamotho and Gabriele Cohen to facilitate her attendance,” Murgor states in court papers.