Justice: Court dismisses Cohen widow’s contempt plea
Sarah Wairimu, wife of the late Dutch businessman Tob Cohen suffered a major blow yesterday after the High Court dismissed her application seeking to have Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI) George Kinoti and two others jailed for contempt of court.
In a ruling delivered by Justice Daniel Ogembo on behalf of Lady Justice Stella Mutuku, the judge said the High Court criminal division lacks jurisdiction to hear Wairimu’s application.
“The contempt of court application is in the wrong court, the correct procedure to bring the application has not be followed.
I hereby allow preliminary objection by the respondents and struck out the application dated October 15,2019 for failure to follow the law and procedure,” Mutuku.
Wairimu had last year filed an application seeking to have Kinoti,prosecutor Juma Victor Owiti journalist John Kamau punished for disobeying a court directive.
Through lawyer Philip Murgor, Wairimu had stated that the three should be jailed for disregarding the court’s directive, which had barred all the parties from commenting about the details of the case.
The order had been issued by High Court Judge Jessie Lessit on September 16 barring the DCI as well as the prosecution from addressing the media on the investigations and evidence in the murder of the Dutch tycoon.
Wairimu argued that DCI Kinoti disregarded the court orders by inferring her guilt.
She also accused a local media of publishing a sensational, false and prejudicial articles on the ongoing investigations quoting police investigators and the DCI despite the court order of September 16.
According to Wairimu, prosecutor Awiti published an article on his Facebook page disguised as an academic post while implying she’s guilty.
Kinoti through lawyer Donald Kipkorir sought to have the application struck out saying the application has nothing to do with the law but a publicity stunt to excite the public with a false and fake alternative narrative of the material circumstances.
He argued that the trial court has no jurisdiction to hear the said application since it is premised on the Civil Procedure Act, which does not apply in murder hearings.
Further, Kipkorir said no consent was sought nor granted by the Director of Public Prosecutions to institute criminal contempt proceedings against him.
He termed the application as a calculated attempt at undermining the prosecution and investigations agencies in the material.