Sarah Wairimu, the widow of murdered Dutch tycoon Tob Cohen, has accused Director of Criminal Investigations (DCI) George Kinoti’s lawyer Donald Kipkorir of contempt of court.
In a sworn affidavit filed at the Milimani Law Courts, Wairimu, who was charged with the murder of Cohen, states that Kipkorir has in numerous times made unethical comments related to Cohen’s murder case on microblogging site, Twitter, in total disregard of a valid court order.
High Court Judge Jessie Lessit last month barred the DCI as well as the prosecution from addressing the media on the investigations and evidence in the murder of the Dutch tycoon.
Wairimu, through her lawyer Philip Murgor, had sued the DCI boss, the office of the DCI, that of the Directorate of Public Prosecution (DPP) and two local journalists over contempt of the order by Justice Lessit.
In her application, Wairimu wants Kinoti and the journalists jailed for six months.
According to Wairimu, Kinoti’s lawyer acted unethically in the case by publicly through social media, and without being officially retained, commenting on a pending case before the courts, in which fellow advocates are briefed, in circumstances that bring the legal profession and the administration of justice into disrepute ridicule.
She accuses Kipkorir of making prejudicial comments when she successfully had an “irregularly and conflicted government pathologist” —Peter Ndegwa — disqualified from conducting a postmortem of her late husband.
Wairimu further states that on September 19 Kipkorir supported the position taken by Kinoti and other three other respondents in the case that a convicted murderer can’t inherit property left behind by a spouse.
Additionally, the suspect accuses the advocate of pushing the narrative by Kinoti that she “should not be admitted to bail”. This, she says, is captured in a tweet dated September 25.
“I verily believe that the timing of the posts on Twitter by Donald Kipkorir show a well-coordinated and choreographed scheme by the respondents to defeat the terms of the Court Order dated 16th September 2019, and is confirmed by the post on Twitter on 23rd October, 2019 at 15:39 hrs when Mr Kipkorir confirms that he has a long term friendship with the 2nd respondent [Kinoti], ” Ms Wairimu states.
She adds, “That as such I believe that it’s not a coincidence that Donald Kipkorir is now purporting to represent the 2nd respondent [Kinoti], whom he boasts of being a longtime friend and client. It’s now self-evident that at all times Donald Kipkori was, and ha been acting in coordination and concert with the respondents to violate the Oder dated 16th September 2019.”
Wairimu says she is convinced that Kipkorir’s posts on Twitter amount to professional misconduct for which the Court “can and should report Mr Kipkorir to the Disciplinary Committee of the Law Society of Kenya.”
“I am informed by my advocate, which information I believe to be true that the 2nd respondent’s advocate Donald Kipkorir, has numerously committed the offence of cyber Harassment as defined in Section 27 of the Computer Misuse and Cyber Crimes Act,” she states.
In the sworn affidavit, Wairimu dismisses objection by Kinoti that the Milimani Law Court doesn’t have the requisite jurisdiction to hear and determine the contempt case against Kinoti and his co-accused.
She notes that the respondents have continued to publish falsehoods regarding investigations into Cohen’s murder case.
“The falsehoods continue to violate my constitutional right to be presumed innocent until proven through due process before a court of law, hence necessitating the instant application, ” says Wairimu.
The businesswoman had accused Kinoti of prosecuting the case through the media.
In his response, Kinoti says the contempt application is a blatant abuse of advocate-client privilege with the advocate[Murgor] using the application to channel his long-standing malevolence against the DPP and DCI.
“The application is a deliberate and contrived scheme by the applicant and her lawyer to prematurely argue her innocence,” says Kinoti.
Wairimu and her co-accused Peter Karanja are out on bail.
The consolidated case of the two suspects will be mentioned on November 12.