NAIROBI, Kenya, Sep 18- “Very sad,” that was the response from Sarah Wairimu, the widow of murdered Dutch tycoon Tob Cohen, when asked by journalists to comment about the autopsy conducted on the body.
Cohen is a former Chief Executive Officer of Dutch conglomerate Philips East Africa who has lived in Kenya for many years, and was lately more known for organising golf tournaments.
Wairimu was escorted from Lang’ata Women’s Remand Prison, under tight security, on Wednesday afternoon to witness the autopsy on her husband whom she is accused of murdering and dumping the body inside an underground water tank at their Kitisuru home, one of the high-end addresses in the capital Nairobi.
She was taken to the mortuary after her lawyer Philip Murgor obtained a court order for her to witness the exercise
“Thank you for the good coverage that you have been offering,” she said in response to another question by a photojournalist, at the postmortem also attended by Cohen’s family members from Netherlands, among them his sister Gabriele and her husband.
But media attention was on Wairimu, Cohen’s former Personal Assistant-turned wife in a union documented on a marriage certificate dated May 3, 2017 a copy of which was provided to Capital FM by lawyer Murgor.
And before she could answer further questions from journalists, Wairimu was quickly whisked into a waiting Prisons van that drove away. She was guarded by five prison warders–all armed.
Chief Government Pathologist Dr Johansen Oduor, who was three pathologists who examined the body, told reporters results of the autopsy would be made public due to a court order.
Wairimu was arrested more than two weeks ago, weeks after Cohen went missing.
She initially claimed in statements to the police that Cohen had traveled abroad for medical treatment, but Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti said her version on the sequence of events was not adding up, leading to her detention.
The prosecution later presented her in court with a charge sheet on Cohen’s murder but she could not plead because she had not undergone a mental assessment.
Cohen’s body was also yet to be found, with her lawyer Murgor accusing the DCI of charging her without a “shred of evidence”.
Nonetheless, the court order she be remanded at the Lang’ata Women’s prison awaiting the charges.
But before she could undergo the mental assessment or take plea, Cohen’s body was discovered at his home, dumped in an underground water tank.
The DCI has said they have sufficient evidence to charge her with Cohen’s murder and are even detaining a man said to her close associate, who has been placed at the centre of the crime scene.
Police were given until October 4, to finalise investigations on his alleged involvement, while Wairimu is due back in court on September 26 to plead to a murder charge.
“Under the Kenyan law, my client is innocent until proven guilty by a court of law,” Murgor said.
During Wednesday’s autopsy exercise Murgor said he had written to Chiromo mortuary, warning against the release of Cohen’s body to anyone for burial, after her sister indicated that she wanted to bury him and fly back to Netherlands.
“Our client is fully aware of the wishes of her late husband, none of which includes being buried within the shortest time possible,” Murgor told Capital News, and provided a copy of his letter to the Funeral Parlour.
But after the autopsy, he announced that both parties had consulted and agreed to give Cohen a decent send-off.
“We may not need to file a case in court because the parties are in agreement,” he said.
But the autopsy was not without drama.
On Tuesday, a government pathologist Dr Peter Njenga was rejected by Wairimu through her lawyer Murgor over remarks he is accused of having made at the scene of the crime in Kitisuru about the condition of Cohen’s body.
He agreed to step down, prompting the postponement of the exercise to Wednesday to be conducted by Dr Oduor who briefed the media at the end of the exercise.