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Why murdered Dutch tycoon Tob Cohen was forced to marry Sarah Wairimu

Murdered Dutch tycoon Tob Cohen was coerced to marry Sarah Wairimu under the Kikuyu customary rites to avoid being deported back to the Netherlands, a family court has been told.

Testifying on the first day of the dispute contesting the validity of a Will prepared and retained by a Kenyan lawyer Chege Kirundi, Gabrielle Hannah Van Straten, a sister to the deceased, said ‘his marriage to Sarah Wairimu was forced.’

Gabrielle told Justice Murungi Thande that the forced marriage was conducted at Sarah’s parents’ home.

“Besides Sarah did your late brother have another wife?” the deceased family lawyer Danstan Omari asked.

“Yes my late brother had contracted two previous marriages with Dutch Women,” Gabrielle answered adding, “the first wife died.”

The witness disclosed that none of the two former wives had any children with his late brother since “he had undergone a medical procedure at the age of 27 not to beget children.”

The judge heard the deceased came to Kenya in 1987 where he was employed and retired to do business in 1989.

“My wealthy brother had developed real estate and had business ventures,” the deceased’s sister stated.

In his Will, Gabrielle said, ‘his brother did not mention Sarah as one of the beneficiaries of his estate’.

Justice Thande heard that in the Will, the deceased 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 in the presence of 24 people among them former assistant minister Patrick Muiruri.

She also confirmed that one Gengi Muigai, a relative of President Uhuru Kenyatta, was not present when the Will was read by Mr Kirundi at his Bruce House Legal Offices.”

Gabrielle, 70, urged Justice Thande to determine the wealth distribution case before she passes on.

“So far the family has spent over Euros 180,000 (Sh122million) in getting justice done for our deceased brother,” Gabrielle stated.

Answering questions from defence lawyer Senior Counsel Philip Murgor, Gabrielle denied claims she failed to attend her brother’s burial as she was ‘concerned with hot to inherit his brother’s estate’.

“I had to fly back home to attend my son’s wedding. I had seen the body of my late brother. Justice had begun to be done,” she explained.

Mr Cohen died in Nairobi on an unknown date between July 20 and September 13, 2019.

Ms Kamotho has been charged with his murder and is out on bond.

The body was recovered from a septic tank within his palatial residence.

Sarah claims the Will from Mr Kirundi is a forgery but Gabrielle maintains “it is a genuine and valid one.”

Hearing continues.