A Nairobi Court has barred police from re-arresting Court of Appeal Judge Sankale Ole Kantai over alleged links to the murder of Dutch businessman Tob Cohen.
In conservatory orders issued on Tuesday, High Court Judge Anthony Mrima barred the Inspector General of Police Hillary and the Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti from making any move to arrest the judge “until there is express written permission from the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP)”
Sankale moved to court after a senior DCI officer accused the ODPP that is headed by Noordin Haji of illegally terminating investigations against him in August this year.
In an affidavit, John Gachomo claimed that justice Sankale, who was arrested in February this year, actively participated in the planning and cover-up of the murder of Cohen.
Gachomo claimed that the judge and the deceased’s wife Sarah Wairimu, who is one of the two suspects charged with the murder of Cohen, met on various occasions to plan the murder of the late tycoon.
It has in the past been alleged that the judge was indeed in a clandestine affair with Cohen’s widow.
In a move aimed at proving why DCI believes that Justice Kantai was part of the scheme, Gachomo said that the judge fraudulently transferred shares of a company that was being run by Cohen from Silas Itas before eventually transferring them to Wairimu.
He said that Cohen was killed two days after the fraudulent transfer was discovered.
But the judge, through his lawyer Peter Wanyama, hit out at Gachoma for orchestrating what he termed as “a shocking attack” on the decision by the DPP to drop murder charges against justice Sankale.
“My client is caught up in a supremacy battle between DPP and the DCI; this, if allowed, is an affront to the rule of law,” submitted Wanyama.
Justice Mrima, in his ruling, stated: “There is basis for granting of interim orders, temporary orders, barring IG and DCI from rearresting the petitioner until the petition is heard and determined.”
He ordered Justice Sankale to serve his submissions and any supplementary affidavits within 21 days, on November 23, 2021.
Cohen’s body was found in a septic tank at his Kitisuru home in Farasi Lane on September 13, 2019, over a month after he went missing.