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Wairimu pleads not guilty, Murgor to represent her

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Wairimu pleads not guilty, court rules Murgor representing her validly

  • Hillary Orinde 03rd Oct 2019 12:24:13 GMT +0300

Sarah Wairimu and her lawyer Philip Murgor in a past court appearance. Murgor has been allowed to represent her against Cohen family lawyer Cliff Ombeta's argument that he was a public prosecutor and could, therefore, not appear in court as a defence counsel. [George Njunge, Standard]

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A High Court in Nairobi has okayed lawyer Philip Murgor to represent Sarah Wairimu, the widow accused of killing her 71-year-old Dutch husband Tob Cohen. Murgor’s representation had been contested by the prosecution and lawyer Cliff Ombeta who argued Murgor was still a public prosecutor. Ombeta and the prosecution told the court that Murgor remained a public prosecutor since the gazette notice of his appointment had not been revoked even though he resigned. Senior Assistant Director of Public Prosecutions Catherine Mwaniki also notified the court that they were still in the process of degazetting the appointment. Justice Stella Mutuku today ruled that there was no dispute in Murgor’s resignation and no one could be forced to remain in office against their will. She added that lawyer Murgor had been attending to other court issues, including with the office of the DPP, and the resignation had not been contested. After the ruling, Sarah Wairimu finally took a plea in the murder case. Plea-taking had been deferred four times before.

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She denied killing her husband Cohen, a former CEO of Philips Electronics East Africa. She is facing murder charges alongside Peter Karanja. Wairimu was arrested on August 29 and interrogated her for the third time over the disappearance of Cohen on July 19, 2019, from their Lower Kabete home in Nairobi. Cohen’s body would later be found in a septic tank at his home in Nairobi. It was wrapped in layers of clothing indicating the gruesome torture he underwent before his death. “He was bound (on) legs, hands, and neck before he was murdered and then they hid him in an underground water tank. They took their time,” DCI boss George Kinoti said during the September 13 discovery.

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