A Mombasa court has ordered the exhumation of the body of a British tourist who unexpectedly passed away there.
The 44-year-old Lutfunisa Khandwalla passed away on August 2, 2020, and was buried in the Memon cemetery the next day.
She passed away in Mombasa while visiting her husband's family, and it was claimed that the "devil" killed her while a spiritual guide sought to assist her.
Following a lockdown imposed by the Kenyan government to stop the spread of Covid-19, her flight back to the UK was delayed.
Senior Resident Magistrate Ritah Orora ordered the exhumation after Ms Khandwalla's family filed a lawsuit alleging foul play.
"Since the application is not opposed, it is hereby ordered that Khandwalla's body be exhumed for a postmortem and extraction of samples [for toxicology and DNA tests] to ascertain the cause of death," said the magistrate.
The Court further mandated that the local police station commander protects the exhumation.
The Court ordered the Directorate of Criminal Investigations (DCI) to send officers to the scene.
The exhumation and postmortem examination were conducted in the presence of a private pathologist, who the family was free to retain.
Imran Admani, Ms Khandwalla's brother, had asked for the exhumation through his attorney Jacinta Wekesa.
On August 5 of this year, Ms Khandwalla's death was reported to the Central Police Station. Mr Admani, who lives in Tanzania, requested that the police investigate his sister's inexplicable death in the report.
According to court records, Ms Khandwalla passed away in the residence where she was staying.
Mr Admani wanted the individuals present when his sister passed away to be treated as persons of interest.
"I am seeking an exhumation order, to perform an autopsy on the deceased to ascertain the cause of her mysterious sudden death and to help in further investigations," he told the Court.
In addition, he requested that Mr Arif Mohamed Iqbal, who lived in the home where Ms Khandwalla passed away, leave his travel documents with the Court until the DCI cleared him.
According to court documents, Mr Iqbal is a seer who receives revelations from unidentified prophets and a leader in the religious and spiritual realms.
"On August 3, 2020, while the nearest family members who were based in Dar es Salaam prepared to attend the burial, they were informed that the deceased had already been buried at 11am of the same day," he said.
He claimed that the family was informed that Ms Khandwalla had passed away inside the home and had been murdered by the devil. Additionally, the Court was informed that not even her immediate family members were able to attend the funeral.
According to court records, Ms Khandwalla's family has a recording of those who were present when she was killed and who confessed to the crime.
"The conduct of the people who were with the deceased during her final moments raises many concerns about the circumstances leading to her death," he said.
The family said they were also surprised that no report was made about Ms Khandwalla's death after the Ministry of Health issued guidelines requiring families to report deaths.
The validity of a death certificate issued on September 30 that stated Ms Khandwalla passed away from cardiopulmonary arrest was questioned by her relatives.
The family is curious about how this conclusion was made without having her body autopsied.
Mr Admani told Ms Orora, "The family needs to know what killed her, and the hasty burial of the deceased without allowing her family members to attend the burial and inspect the body has given agony and anguish to the family."
The family provided the authorities with data that may help the investigations, including videos, recordings, and multiple statements.
To determine the reason for his sister's death, the police urged Mr Admani to seek a court order to exhume her body. Mr Admani then made a court appearance.
He claimed that after trying unsuccessfully to get more information from people with his sister, he was forced to request the Court's involvement.
She was in good health at the time of her death and had no conditions that could have endangered her life. I called to see what happened to her, but I got no answer," he claimed.
Mr Admani referenced the alleged leaked details from critical figures.
"In these leaked chats, the people involved have such hatred for my sister, accusing her of mocking Allah, calling her a witch and demonic, and attributing most of their woes to her," he claimed.
The prosecution backed the exhumation because it would aid their decision-making.