Cohen autopsy put off as Wairimu rejects examiner
Kinyuru Munuhe and Zadock Angira
The family of Dutch tycoon Tob Cohen will today know how their kin was killed after yesterday’s planned postmortem exercise aborted.
Defence lawyer Philip Murgor, representing Cohen’s estranged wife and prime suspect in the murder case—Sarah Wairimu Kamotho—successfully stopped the exercise, citing possible partiality by duty government pathologist Peter Ndegwa.
The defence and family lawyers, in a postmortem pre-conference at Chiromo mortuary, agreed to have Ndegwa step aside and be replaced by his boss Johansen Oduor, the chief government pathologist.
“My colleague Oduor is on leave but he has agreed to temporarily resume work and be here tomorrow (today) for the postmortem.
As you know, justice has to be seen to be done and, therefore, we have accepted or agreed as a team we should postpone the examination to tomorrow morning,” he said.
Murgor further demanded that Wairimu be physically present to positively identify the body of her late husband.
The request has brought about foreseeable legal hurdles that threaten to derail the process until next week.
The defence has to make an application before court for Wairimu to be produced, and must serve all parties involved including the prosecution, who might object to the plea.
The court then has to grant a production order to Lang’ata Women’s Prisons clearly citing the date, time and venue Wairimu is to be produced.
Cohen’s sister Gabrie Van Struaten and her husband were present for the aborted postmortem. Others were lawyers Cliff Ombeta and Danstan Omari — both representing Cohen’s family.
During the postmortem pre-conference, sources said Murgor insisted Wairimu has be present to identify the body since Cohen’s family is an interested party.
Oduor will be the lead pathologist assisted by family pathologist Prof Emily Rugane. Prof Andrew Kanyi Gachie will be the defence pathologist.
Homicide detectives from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations and Government Chemist officials will also be present.
By yesterday evening, the body was yet to be taken to Kenyatta National Hospital for X-Ray and CT Scan analysis to establish if there are any injuries inflicted that cannot be seen through physical observation.