Kenya: Cohen's Autopsy Done but Results Not Public After Court Order

18 September 2019

Nairobi — Pathologists who conducted an autopsy on Tob Cohen's body say they have the findings but will not make it public due to an existing court order.

The exercise that lasted more than four hours on Thursday was led by Chief Government pathologist Dr. Johansen Odour, who told journalists that they had made 'many findings', including how he was killed and the probable date.

Odour was representing the state while Prof. Andrew Gachie was acting for Wairimu alongside Prof Emily Rogena who was retained by Cohen's Dutch family that travelled to Kenya on learning that he was missing.

Cohen's widow Sarah Wairimu, who is accused of murdering him, was present during the autopsy conducted at the Chiromo Mortuary in Nairobi.

Dr Oduor said they cannot release findings of the autopsy due to a court order issued by Justice Jessie Lesiit on Monday, gagging those involved in the investigations against revealing any content of investigative nature. The order also also applies to the media.

"We are going to compile the report, which will be sent to respective concerned parties," Dr. Gachie said, revealing it might take a few weeks' "since there were toxicological tests to be done."

Also, to be done was matching of DNA samples, to be certain the body recovered is that of the tycoon.

"There is no contest over it, but we are living nothing to chance," Gachie said.

Pathologist Rogena said they had unanimously agreed on the outcome.

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.

Wairimu was arrested more than two weeks ago, weeks after Cohen went missing.

She initially claimed in statements to the police that Cohen had travelled 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, whike Wairimu is due back in court on September 26 to plead to a murder charge.

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