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Police question city socialite over Tob Cohen’s murder


Detectives were last evening interrogating well-known Nairobi beauty industry entrepreneur Nancy Kigwe Wettstein in regard to the murder of Nairobi golf organiser Tob Cohen, whose body was discovered entombed in an underground water tank at his Kitsuru home in Nairobi.

Ms Wettstein, 63, was once the proprietor of both Pivot Point, a hair design and beauty school, and the top-end Urembo Hair salon, and was a close friend of Ms Sarah Wairimu, who has been under arrest since August 28 over the murder of her husband between July 19 and 20.

Ms Wairimu has yet to plead to the charge after the High Court was told by Cohen’s family lawyer, Mr Cliff Ombeta, last week that Ms Wairimu’s lawyer, Mr Phillip Murgor, was still a gazetted public prosecutor.

As a result, State prosecutor Catherine Mwaniki asked the court to give her more time to establish from Director of Public Prosecutions Noordin Haji whether he had revoked the appointment of Mr Murgor as a state prosecutor.

KARANJA DETAINED

Director of Criminal Investigations George Kinoti could not say much about the interrogation after the High Court gagged him and the media from disclosing the nature of evidence and progress of investigations.
“It is true we have Nancy here; we are interrogating her,” Mr Kinoti said.

Entrepreneur Nancy Kigwe Wettstein speaks about her work during a past interview. She is being interrogated over the murder of businessman Tob Cohen. PHOTO | FILE

By last evening, the fate of Ms Wettstein was not clear and police could not say whether she was a witness or a suspect due to the court gag order.

Besides Ms Wairimu, police are also holding Naivasha businessman Peter Njoroge Karanja, who is being detained at Kiambu Police Station as police conduct forensic investigations and question more people known to him.

On September 16, Kiambu Senior Principal Magistrate Stella Atambo allowed detectives to hold Mr Karanja for an extra 14 days — to give them time to subject the gadgets recovered from him to forensic examination.

The police had also told the court they needed to visit other counties to question people known to the suspect.

WITNESSES COMPROMISED

When Ms Wairimu was first taken to the Kiambu court over the disappearance of her husband, DCI investigator Maxwell Otieno told Chief Magistrate Patricia Gichohi that Cohen went missing from their home on July 19.

He told the court that preliminary investigations had established that Ms Wairimu coached some of the witnesses to give false testimony on Cohen’s movement, a matter that has yet to be canvassed in court.

“The said witnesses later recanted and gave the true version of what transpired,” Mr Otieno had told the court.

Cohen’s body was finally found in a drained underground water tank some 55 days after he went missing.

He was buried at the Jewish cemetery in Nairobi in a ceremony that was attended by his widow, who had sought a court’s permission.

CONTEMPT CASE

During the short ceremony, Ms Wairimu was allowed to speak and she alleged that Cohen’s killers were at the funeral.

She will on Tuesday face prosecutors, led by Ms Mwaniki, who last week promised to file a contempt-of-court case against her for publicly discussing the matter.

The Dutch’s murder has become the subject of a media frenzy locally and internationally.

Mr Murgor has further accused former Gatundu North MP Patrick Muiruri of threatening and insulting him at the burial, and he reported the matter to Parklands Police Station.

Mr Muiruri was one of Cohen’s friends and was involved in his search.