A Kiambu Court on Monday ruled that a woman who is being held in custody at Muthaiga Police station on suspicion of abducting and murdering her Dutch husband in July this year be held for 12 days.
While delivering her ruling, Kiambu Chief Magistrate (CM), Ms. Patricia Gichohi noted that there were compelling reasons for the police to continue holding the wife of the Dutch billionaire in custody.
Ms. Gichohi said that despite the victim in the case being a foreigner, it was important that justice should be seen to be done to unveil the circumstances that led to his disappearance.
Sarah Wairimu had been presented in court last Thursday under a miscellaneous application by the Officers from the DCI who applied to be given 14 days within which they intended to complete investigations of the case.
In their application, Maxwell Otieno told the court that he needed ample time as some of the equipment that would be used to scan the scene of crime which is believed to be her house were to be imported.
He also noted that he was yet to record statements from the workers of the suspect whom the prosecution would entirely use as evidence to buttress their case. He also intended to get the communication data from the phone of the suspect and that it would take some time.
The Dutch national, Tob Cohen, was reported missing on July 19, 2019 and to date, his whereabouts are not known. His wife was consequently arrested on August 28th, 2019 and arraigned before a Kiambu Court via a miscellaneous application in which they sought orders to detain her further so that they have ample time to complete their investigations.
In her lengthy ruling, Ms. Gichohi further allowed her access to her house as need be and advised her defense counsel, Philip Murgor to cooperate with the investigating team so that they are reasonable in their demands.
She also noted that the prosecution had proved beyond reasonable doubt that the woman who was being held as a suspect was interfering with the workers who were witnesses in the case as they worked for the couple prior to her husband’s disappearance and were still in their employment at the said home.
According to the Investigating Officer, the witnesses had recanted their earlier statements after talking to the police soon after a report of a missing person was made to the police.
“This is an indication that the suspect was coaching the witnesses and that justice will not be seen to be done if she was released from custody as fear of intimidation was reported by the Investigating Officer,” said Ms. Gichohi.
She further noted that the house of the suspect where she lived with her husband should be secured as a crime scene by police if they felt so and that they did not need permission from the court. Soon after she delivered the ruling, Murgor said he intended to appeal against it and therefore needed to be provided with a copy of the ruling.
During the proceedings, Murgor also complained that his client was being tried in the media and that the Court should protect her.
He also told the Court that Police at Muthaiga had disobeyed a court order by reneging to escort his client to her house over the weekend but Ms. Christine Mbevi for the prosecution refuted the allegation saying she had actually been escorted to her house on Friday, “not unless she wanted to spend the whole weekend in her house”.
By Lydia Shiloya