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Wife of missing tycoon Tob Cohen to stay in cell

by kenya-tribune
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By SIMON CIURI
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Kiambu chief magistrate Priscilla Gichohi on Monday ordered police to detain the estranged wife of missing Dutch billionaire Tob Cohen for 12 days as investigations continue.

Ms Gichohi said the matter is complex and requires more time, adding that investigating officers had provided enough reasons to have the suspect detained.

She said the detention of Ms Sarah Wairimu would prevent her from interfering with evidence provided in court and witnesses lined up to testify against her.

“There is no doubt that the matter under investigation is complex and requires thorough investigation. Mr Cohen may be a foreigner but he is protected by the laws of this country. The suspect be detained at Muthaiga Police Station for a further 12 working days from the date of this ruling.

“The police are at liberty to secure the matrimonial home as a scene of crime to which the suspect may access if need be but under the escort of the investigators,” she ruled.

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“The lawyer is at liberty to accompany her to the said matrimonial home and the suspect be brought to court for further orders on or before September 16.” ruled the court.

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

The magistrate told the packed court that preliminary investigations had established that the suspect coached some witnesses to give false testimony on Mr Cohen’s movement.

However they recanted their statements and gave true accounts. “The investigators also established that the suspect had issued threats to Mr Cohen which made him apprehensive; he shared this with some of his close friends.

“It is highly probable that Mr Cohen was kidnapped from his residence and taken by the suspect and her associates to an unknown place; the kidnapping probably turned out to be murder,” said the magistrate.

She added that the suspect was reported to have pushed Mr Cohen off a flight of stairs on July 8 causing him to fall, sustaining injuries.

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

“This is perhaps the reason the investigators wish to involve the court as a precautionary measure to avoid any interference or contamination of the evidence in event the suspect needs to access the said home,” the court ruled.

The case will be mentioned on September 16. The team representing Ms Wairimu, led by Philip Murgor, said the court’s decision to detain her was unconstitutional and vowed to appeal the ruling at the High Court.

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