Gabriele Van Straten the late Tob Cohen’s sister has asked President William Ruto to intervene in her brother’s murder case which has now been withdrawn by the High Court.
Speaking during an interview with a Dutch TV station, an agitated Straten expressed that she was taken aback when she received a call informing her that the Director of Public Prosecutor (DPP) had issued an order to withdraw the case against Cohen’s wife Sarah Wairimu and his co-accused Peter Karanja.
“It’s terrible, I have aged 10 years overnight no one had expected this. Dear President Ruto, please don’t let the murderers of my brother walk free,” she stated.
While asking the head of state to intervene, Gabriele further expressed that she was disappointed to see people ‘get away’ with murder.
“I always said justice has to prevail I don’t care about the house there is hardly anything left of it…We are stuck for an answer I have no idea what will happen next, we need help,” she added.
DPP Haji asked the High Court to withdraw Cohen’s murder case against Wairimu and her co-accused.
In a letter filed before the High Court Criminal Division, Haji asked the court to terminate the murder trial against the duo.
“I hereby enter a Nolle Prosequi (do not prosecute) and inform this Honourable court that the Republic intends that the criminal proceedings against the above-named persons who are charged with the offence of Murder contrary to section 203 as read with section 204 of the Penal Code, Laws of Kenya shall not continue,” a letter signed by Haji’s deputy Jancita Nyamosi read in part.
The High Court on Tuesday, December 6, 2022, allowed the application by Haji to withdraw Tob Cohen’s murder case against Wairimu and Karanja.
Judge Daniel Ogembo allowed the DPP’s request to have the case be heard through an inquest to provide an opportunity to have the parties present any information that had not been explored substantially before the court and the investigations earlier conducted by the Directorate of Criminal Investigations.
“I hereby allow the nolle prosequi entered by the public prosecutor on November 29, 2022, and the two accused persons are accordingly discharged of the charges. It is recommended that this case be filed as inquest before the Chief Magistrate courts in Milimani Law Courts,” Judge Ogembo ruled.
While allowing the DPP request for Nolle prosequi, judge Ogembo notes that the objections raised by Cohen’s family had no merit and dismissed the same.
The judge noted that the DPP did not act in bad faith or violated his mandate as enriched under Article 157 (1) and (9) of the constitution when he sought to have the case withdrawn and the matter be heard through an inquest.
The court clarified that Wairimu and co-accused persons stand discharged and have not been acquitted of the murder charges.
“In effect upon the conclusion of the inquest as intended by the DPP the accused persons would still be charged with the offence of murder and the victims (Cohen’s family) will still have rights as victims in the criminal proceedings, ” the judge stated.
Wairimu and her co-accused were charged with killing her estranged husband, Tob Cohen, in September 2019.