Murdered Dutch tycoon Tob Cohen was forced into a marriage to Sarah Wairimu under standard Kikuyu rites to avoid deportation to the Netherlands, the Supreme Court said on Monday.
Cohen’s sister , Gabrielle Hannah van Straten, Judge Murungi Thande said that his brother’s “marriage to Ms. Wairimu was forced”. She testified in a case challenging the validity of a will drawn up by attorney Chege Kirundi.
“Does your brother have any other wives besides Sarah?” her attorney Danstan Omari posed. “Yes, my brother had two previous marriages to Dutch women. The first woman died,” said Ms. Hannah van Straten.
She said none of the women had children with Cohen because “he underwent a medical procedure at the age of 27 to not have children to father.”
The judge heard that Cohen came to Kenya as a clerk in 1987 before starting a business in 1989.
“My wealthy brother had developed real estate and business ventures,” according to the deceased sister.
Ms Hannah van Straten said her brother did not “mention Ms Wairimu as one of the beneficiaries of his estate” in his will. Judge Thande heard that in the will, Cohen had allocated her 50 percent of the estate and 25 percent to her son Seth and 25 percent to his niece Sharon.
The will was opened and read out in the presence of 24 people, including the former deputy Minister Patrick Muiruri.
She urged Judge Thande to settle the property distribution case.
“To date, the family has raised over €180,000 (122 million Shh) spent to bring justice to our late brother,” said Ms Hannah van Straten.
While responding to defense attorney Philip Murgor’s questions, Ms Hannah van Straten denied that she did not attend the Attended her brother’s funeral as “all she cared about was getting his estate and then flying home”.
“I had to fly home to attend my son’s wedding. I had seen my brother’s body. Justice had begun,” she said.
Cohen died in Nairobi between July 20 and September 13, 2019. Ms. Wairimu is accused of killing the businessman. She is out on bail.
The body was recovered from a septic tank at his palatial residence.
Ms. Wairimu claims that the will presented by Ms. Hannah van Straten is a forgery, but she is stick with “it’s real”. The hearing continues.