19 April 2017

Kenya: Woman 'Hid' American's Presence From Father-in-Law

Photo: Nehemiah Okwembah/The Nation
Amina Yakub Shiraz at the dock in a Malindi court. She is accused of conspiring with her American lover Jacob Schmazle to kill her husband Jimmy Jagatram Baburam in Watamu on July last year

A woman accused of killing her husband did not disclose that an American was present during his death at a resort, a senior African Union official told a Mombasa court.

Ms Amina Shiraz and fugitive Jacob Schmalzle are charged with killing Jimmy Jagathram Buburam at Medina Palms, Watamu, in 2015.

Brigadier (Rtd) David Baburam, the victim's father, told Justice Dorah Chepkwony that Ms Shiraz hid the information from him until one of the couple's maids reported the matter a month later.

The High Court has issued a warrant of arrest against Mr Schmalzle to Interpol after the prosecution said he fled to the United States.

The retired Kenya Defence Forces officer said he spoke to his son by telephone for about 45 minutes the day before he died and he sounded healthy.

"On July 26 at around 6.30 am, I received a distress call that Baburam had collapsed while on vacation with family at Watamu, although I was not given proper detail on what transpired," said Mr Baburam.

He said they flew to Malindi with his wife and son and went to Watamu Hospital, where he was told his son was taken.

"But on arrival at Malindi Airport at around 1pm, I met the accused together with her father, three ladies and another person unknown to me and the body of my son wrapped in wipe sheets," said Mr Baburam.

He said he found it strange that the body was wrapped in accordance with Muslim culture and tradition yet his son was a staunch Christian.

"We then transported the body to Nairobi and preserved it at Lee Funeral home, where a post-mortem was carried out and he was cremated on July 29," Mr Baburam recalled.

He also accused his daughter-in-law of having a romantic relationship with another man two weeks after the burial.

According to him, the post-mortem report indicated the cause of death as drowning and chronic kidney disease.

The witness was stood down until today, when defence lawyers Ahlemednasir Abdullahi and Jared Magolo will cross-examine him.

Senior Assistant Director of Public Prosecution Vincent Monda said they will also apply that the case be heard at the crime scene in Watamu.


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