Why Tob Cohen’s burial has been postponed
Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI) George Kinoti claimed yesterday that Court of Appeal Judge Sankale ole Kantai actively participated in the planning and cover-up of the murder of Dutch businessman Tob Cohen.
In a replying affidavit filed at the High Court through Senior Assistant Inspector General of Police John Gachomo, Kinoti alleges that the judge participated in the cover-up of the murder of Cohen assisted by his alleged mistress Sarah Wairimu Kamotho; who was at the time living with the Dutchman as his wife.
Gachomo, currently the head of Investigations Bureau at DCI, says the judge held several secret meetings with Wairimu.
“There is cogent evidence that the judge participated in the planning of the murder of Tob Cohen jointly with Wairimu.
Sankale actively participated in planning and cover-up of the murder of Cohen while holding the office of the Court of Appeal judge in the Republic of Kenya,” says the officer.
In a bid to cover up their tracks, the two love birds reportedly met at various places and joints on diverse dates, where they planned the murder of Cohen whose body was found inside a septic tank in his compound in Nairobi’s Kitusuru estate.
DCI claims that the judge was part of a scheme to murder Cohen as he fraudulently transferred shares of a company that was being run by Cohen through a former parastatal chief, the late Silas Itas, who was also a shareholder in Cohen’s firm, before eventually transferring them to Wairimu.
Detectives also believe that Wairimu was the judge’s mistress; a relationship they had even before Cohen passed on.
Gachomo says that Cohen was shocked how Wairimu became a director of Tob Limited and the share transferred mysteriously from his account to hers.
According to the DCI, the late Cohen had no chance for survival the moment Justice Kantai and Wairimu found out on July 17, 2019, that Cohen was aware of the fraudulent share transactions in Tob Limited.
Gachomo says that Cohen would later be killed two days after the fraudulent transfer was discovered.
The Dutch billionaire was murdered on the night of July 19 and 20, 2019, and his body hidden in a septic tank within his compound until it was discovered by detectives.
The DCI avers that the judge’s involvement in the fraudulent transfer of shares was premeditated and intended to transfer Cohen’s interest in the company to Wairimu.
“The late Cohen filed divorce petition being CMCC cause No. 35 of 2019 which enraged Wairimu and made her visit the judge’s chambers in Nyeri for legal advice on whether her interests were well protected by her legal counsel which clearly demonstrates that they had an intimate relationship,” says Gachomo.
The sleuth says that one of the communication calls lasted for six minutes. The DCI says that the judge’s involvement in the murder and his constant communication with Wairimu, who is the key suspect in the ongoing trial is well captured in the forensic Criminal Analysis Report prepared by criminal analysts based at DCI headquarters.
The officer adds that on the day Cohen was murdered, the judge chose to spend the night within the vicinity of Chiromo Campus instead of his residence in Karen.
Surprisingly, in a coincidence, this is the same vicinity of Parklands Sports Club where Peter Karanja, the co-accused person with Wairimu, parked his car after his night drive from Naivasha to the scene of crime.
“As at the time, Peter Karanja parked his car at Parklands Sports Club, the petitioner (judge), who is a member of the Sports Club was in the vicinity,” says the officer.
The sleuths state that Karanja was among the actual executors of Cohen.
Following Cohen’s death, the judge and Wairimu are said to have embarked on a mission to destroy and erase any evidence of their involvement in the murder, an attempt which detectives foiled by recovering and restoring the evidence.
The DCI has also tabled details on how the judge allegedly interfered with police investigations by editing Wairimu’s statement and refused to co-operate with DCI investigators.
The judge allegedly aided Wairimu to procure an advocate with the intention to collapse the murder case given the petitioner’s influence by virtue of the position he holds in the Judiciary.
The judge reportedly aided the advocate acting for Wairimu in creating content in YouTube with the intention of generating public sympathy and covering-up the heinous act.
DPP on the spot
The petitioner allegedly advised Wairimu through a friend, Claire Wangari, to get a title document for land worth at least Sh2 million with a current valuation certificate.
DCI claims the judge facilitated and influenced the court orders to have Wairimu attend the postmortem at Chiromo mortuary and attend Cohen’s burial to give a narrative that she was a victimised widow.
Equally, Kinoti has blamed the office of the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) for allegedly trying to terminate the investigation with the aim of not charging the judge with murder.
Kinoti claims that the letter by the DPP absolving the judge of any role in the murder of Cohen is an abuse of office and in contravention of Article 157(11)of the Constitution.
However, Cohen’s family through lawyer Danstan Omari put DPP Noordin Haji on the spot over the murder of their kin saying there is a cover up and selective justice.