British widow whose husband was shot dead by Somali pirates claims man convicted is innocent

by NewsTimeOffice



The British widow, 67, whose husband was shot dead by Somali pirates during a 2011 kidnapping has claimed the man convicted of her murder is innocent and is backing his demand for freedom.

Judith Tebbut, 67, and her husband David were abducted by armed Somali gangs A man convicted in connection with the murder and abduction was Ali Babitu Kololo but Mrs Tebbut said he was the ‘scapegoat’ and is backing his demand for freedom.

The widow of a man shot dead by Somali pirates claims the man convicted of his murder is innocent and says she supports his demand for freedom.

Judith Tebbutt, 67, and her husband David were kidnapped by armed Somali pirates from a beach resort in Kenya in 2011.

David is shot dead and Judith is held hostage for six months. He was released after a ransom, said to be around £600,000, was paid by his family.

Former hotel worker Ali Babitu Kololo – the only person implicated in the killing and abduction – was sentenced to death in 2013, which was later commuted to life imprisonment.

But now Ms Tebbutt has said she is backing Kololo’s bid for freedom, accusing Scotland Yard detectives of using him as a ‘scapegoat’ and failing to find his real attackers.

Judith Tebbutt, 67, and her husband David (pictured together) were kidnapped by armed Somali pirates from a beach resort in Kenya in 2011.

Ali Babitu Kololo (pictured) is the only person to have been convicted of the murder and kidnapping

The former social worker told the Sunday Times: ‘I believe he is an innocent man and should be released.

‘I know for certain that he was not part of the group that took me that night.

‘You could go so far as to say he was a bit of a scapegoat… when he was put in prison. Those who took me are still outside.

Days after the kidnapping, a team of Met Police counter-terrorism detectives flew to Kenya to assist with the investigation.

Mr and Mrs Tebut were abducted from Kenya’s Kiweu Safari Village Beach Resort (pictured) near the border with Somalia.

The head of the Met’s investigation team, Detective Chief Inspector Neil Hibbard, was the prosecution’s main witness during Kololo’s trial in a Kenyan court.

An independent Office for Police Conduct inquiry found earlier this year that there was a ‘suspicion’ that the evidence he gave at the now retired DCI Hibbard’s trial ‘will constitute a case of serious misconduct’.

But Richard Smith, commander of the Met’s counter-terrorism command, said there was no way to investigate Mr Hibbard, who was later promoted to detective superintendent, because he had retired before December 2017.

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