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Technology at centre of Sankale links to murder

By , People Daily Digital
Thursday, September 30th, 2021 22:45 | 3 mins read
A petitioner wants Court of Appeal judge Sankale ole Kantai removed from office. Photo/File

Using the latest communication and forensic technology, detectives now believe that Court of Appeal Judge Sankale Ole Kantai convened several meetings to plan and execute the murder of Dutch tycoon Tob Cohen.

Detectives from the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) arrested Justice Sankale in February in connection with the murder after a detailed forensic mobile data obtained from the deceased’s widow, Sarah Wairimu and his phone.

When the new information emerged, detectives summoned Sankale at least 12 times for interrogation and to record a statement on the same.

Detectives used his mobile phone call data to implicate him in the murder case in which Wairimu is the main suspect. She has been charged alongside businessman Peter Karanja.

In a forensic report seen by People Daily and filed in court by DCI, the judge and the widow had more than 30 telephone calls, texts and Whatsapp messages before and after Cohen’s murder.

Report details how the duo planned several meetings within and outside Nairobi as well as overseas to plan the murder and cover-up.

Three meetings

From the conversations, detectives now believe that Sankale was in a clandestine affair with Wairimu. 

Data information obtained from their phones show that on July 19, 2019 as from 12:52 hours to 19:12 hours, Justice Sankale was within Cohen’s residence while in continuous communication with Wairimu who was at the scene of crime.

Detectives further claim one of the communications between the two love birds on the material day lasted six minutes.

 Data link shows that all the communication through Wairimu was in Cohen’s residence on the material day.

“Between 16:30 hours and 20:00hours Sankale and Wairimu’s cellphone were communicating using Internet data.

The judge was within Kabete area, called Wairimu at 18:37 hours and they talked for six minutes.

This was a very important call since Cohen was murdered six hours later,” the forensic report.

DCI adds that on the day Cohen was murdered, the judge chose to spend the  night within the vicinity of Chiromo Campus instead of his residence in Karen.

Sankale was linked to Parklands Sports Club by using his cellphone and M-pesa account to pay for bills at the said club. 

He was also geo -located several times in the same club during the time covering the investigations.

On the night Cohen was murdered, the judge and businessman Peter Karanja were linked to Parklands Sports club from where they continued to communicate with Wairimu. 

DCI says they held three meetings that day. On the same date at around 22:30 hours, Karanja, who was not a member of the Club, parked his Subaru Forester registration KCF 356D inside the compound. 

He is said to have then proceeded to Cohen’s house and joined Wairimu before the tycoon was murdered and his body buried in an underground water tank. 

According to DCI, Karanja was among Cohen’s killers. The following day at around 1500hours, Karanja left Cohen’s residence and went back to Parklands Sports Club where he had parked his car and drove off to Gilgil.

On July 23, 2019 Sankale’s cellphone was geo-located within Chiromo Campus, from where he received a call from Wairimu. They were linked communicating on a daily basis.

Official driver

Following the death of Cohen, Justice  Sankale and Wairimu are said to have embarked on a mission to destroy and erase any evidence of their involvement in the murder, an attempt which detectives foiled by restoring and recovering the evidence.

On July 26, 2019, Sankale paid Sh9,000 air ticket using his Mpesa account after the two had planned to fly to Kisumu on July 28,using Jetlink Safaris.

On July 28, 2018 Sankale and Wairimu flew from Nairobi to Kisumu and were booked in Acacia Hotel room number 405.

It is said the judge ordered his official police driver to pick up Wairimu from Kisumu International Airport in his official GK car to the hotel where they stayed for two days.

DCI has also tabled details showing how the judge interfered with police investigations by editing Wairimu’s statement.

They accuse Wairimu of refusing to co-operate with DCI investigators to an extent that she totally refused to give her phone pin Number.

Sankale, according to the detectives, aided Wairimu to procure an advocate with the intention of collapsing the murder case given his influence by virtue of the position he holds in the Judiciary.

“Petitioner aided Wairimu’s advocate to extract a copy of the late Tob Cohen’s genuine Will from the bundle of documents supplied by the Prosecution then took it after alteration to a private documents examiner, who declared it fake in an attempt to defeat the murder trial by showing that Wairimu had all the right to inherit Cohen’s property as a spouse,” the court papers.

Judge is said to have also aided the advocate acting for Wairimu to create content in  YouTube with the intention of generating public sympathy and cover-up the heinous act.

Petitioner advised Wairimu, through a friend, Claire Wangari, to get a title document for a land worth at least Sh2 million with a current valuation certificate.

DCI further says the judge facilitated and influenced the issuance of court orders allowing Wairimu to attend the postmortem at Chiromo mortuary and attend Cohen’s burial to give a narrative that she is a victimised widow.

Judge is also said to have accompanied Wairimu to Italy for her daughter’s wedding.

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