Cohen widow seeks Sh500m damages over home seizure

Thursday, December 19th, 2019 00:00 |
Sarah Wairimu and her lawyer Philip Murgor in a recent court appearance. Photo/PD/FILE

The widow of slain Dutch tycoon Tob Cohen now wants the Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti and Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji to pay Sh500 million in damages for the “illegal seizure and detention of my Kitisuru matrimonial home”.

In court papers, Sarah Wairimu also wants the High Court to summon Kinoti to personally appear in court to render a full account of the property.

This will include providing a full inventory of the items therein and the steps taken by his office to preserve the condition and value of the estate of her deceased husband held by him between September 10 and when his office will surrender possession of the property to her.

The application comes after the office of DCI took over Cohen’s property, terming it is a scene of crime in ongoing investigations into his death.

In September, detectives from the DCI discovered Cohen’s body in a septic tank at his Kitisuru home close to two months after the Dutch billionaire went missing.

A postmortem report revealed that Cohen died after sustaining a blow inflicted by a blunt object on the right side of his head.

Through lawyer Samora Owino, Wairimu further wants orders compelling the Registrar of Births and Deaths to issue her with a death certificate in respect of her late husband in which the death is indicated as “unknown”.

  According to court documents, she is the only widow of Cohen that lived with him as man and wife since 1998, before solemnising their marriage on May 30, 2017 at the office of the Registrar of Marriages, Nairobi.  

Jointly purchased

Wairimu says the Kitisuru property was their matrimonial home for 12 years, adding that Cohen held the property in trust for both of them.

“Wairimu and Cohen jointly own all that property known as LR No. 2951/449, situated at Farasi Lane, Mugumoini Close in Lower Kabete,Nairobi, which property was jointly purchased on or about June 7, 2000 and registered in the deceased’s name, by mutual agreement,” read the court papers.

Owino says  after the joint purchase of the property, Wairimu and Cohen jointly began developing it sometimes in 2007. They are said to have erected a dwelling house where they resided as a married couple together with their daughter Renee Gathoni Chattle.

In September this year, Wairimu filed an application questioning  the alleged intent of Kinoti over the property allocated to Cohen’s sister Gabrielle Van Straten.

This was after it was alleged that in his will, Cohen bequeathed his Sh400 million Kitisuru villa alongside other property to his sister.

Wairimu claimed that Kinoti’s responsibility is to investigative criminal cases and not the ownership of property. 

 Wairimu who is facing murder charges was released on Sh2 million bail on condition that she should not set foot at her Kitisuru home.

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