Only court stands in the way of Wairimu’s wish to attend her husband’s burial
An application by Sarah Wairimu, the widow of slain Dutch Tob Cohen, to be allowed to attend the burial will be heard on Monday morning.
This could effectively lock her out of the ceremony since the parties’ lawyers had agreed it be conducted in accordance with the Jewish rights on the same day.
Yesterday, High Court Deputy Registrar Jane Kamau declined to issue orders sought and directed the matter be heard on Monday morning.
“I do not have jurisdiction to issue such orders but the parties should wait for me to consult the criminal High Court duty judge,” said Kamau.
She contacted the duty judge Ngenye Macharia who said she had already left the court premises and asked the parties to appear before her on Monday at 8am for further directions.
The burial will take place at Jewish cemetery along Wangari Maathai Road, Nairobi.
The Director of Public Prosecution (DPP) said he needs time to respond to the application by Wairimu.
Cohen’s widow, through lawyer Philip Murgor, had filed an application seeking orders directing the officer in command at the Langata Women Prison to escort her to the Jewish Cemetery on September 23 at 1.30 pm to attend the burial.
In an application filed under certificate of urgency, Wairimu says a dispute arose between her and her sister in-law Gabrielle Straten during the post-moterm conference as to the time and manner in which her late husband should be buried.
Through her lawyer Murgor, she has sued the DCI, DPP and has named Gabrielle as an interested party in the application.
In the court documents filed at the High Court criminal registry, Wairimu wants to be involved in the burial arrangements.
Infringement of rights
She says following a meeting between advocates representing Gabrielle and her, they agreed that the DPP, DCI and Prison authorities be requested to facilitate her presence for the burial.
“If she is not allowed to pay her last respects to her husband it will be an infringement of her constitutional rights under article 50 (2) (a) to be considered innocent until proven guilty by a competent court of law,” says her lawyer
She maintains she has absolutely nothing to do with her husband’s death.
Murgor had argued that on September 18, the court had issued an order that Wairimu be produced and escorted to Chiromo Mortuary to attend the post-mortem of her late husband.
“My client is currently held at Lang’ata Women’s Prison awaiting mention of the case on September 26 for plea taking,” added Murgor.
According to the lawyer, Wairimu wrote a letter on September 18, objecting the burial of the late Cohen without her involvement.
A meeting was held on September 19 by all the parties who agreed that burial should be private and only family members will attend.
They agreed that the burial rights will be conducted in accordance with Jewish rights.
Murgor in the application to allow Wairimu to attend the burial said if the orders he is seeking are not granted, Wairimu may not be able to accord her husband a decent send-off.
“Wairimu has nothing to do with the death of her husband and has the constitutional right under Article 50(2)(a), to be considered innocent unless proven guilty,” added Murgor.
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