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HomeNewsKenyan Freed After Decade in Jail for Tebbutt Murder-Kidnap

Kenyan Freed After Decade in Jail for Tebbutt Murder-Kidnap

Kenyan Freed After Decade in Jail for Tebbutt Murder-Kidnap

After a decade-long effort to overturn his conviction, a Kenyan who was convicted in a trial linked to the murder of a British man has been released from prison.

In 2022, the BBC reported that a senior Metropolitan police officer who assisted the Kenyan investigation “omitted key forensic evidence” from Ali Kololo’s trial.

Jude Tebbutt, the murdered man’s wife, asserts that Ali Kololo is innocent.

In April, his conviction is anticipated to be officially overturned.

Following an appeal hearing on Monday at the Kenyan High Court, Ali Kololo has been released on a $790 (£659) bond pending the verdict.

In 2011, David Tebbutt and his wife Jude were attacked while staying at a remote resort on the Kenyan coast.

David and Jude Tebbutt spent a week on safari before arriving at Kiwayu Safari Village resort
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David was murdered, and Jude was held hostage for six months in nearby Somalia. Her release was contingent on Olly, her adult son, negotiating a ransom deal.

Ali Kololo, a father of two, was convicted of robbery with violence and sentenced to death at a 2013 trial. Later, his death sentence was commuted to life in prison.

Ali Kololo participated in Monday’s appeal hearing at the Kenyan High Court in Malindi via video link from the maximum security prison in Mombasa, Shimo La Tewa, where he has been incarcerated for over a decade.

“Ali has endured 11 years in prison as the victim of a terrible injustice, while David Tebbutt’s murderers remain at large,” says his attorney, Alfred Olaba.

The evidence against him was weak and inconsistent from the beginning.

The BBC reported in June 2022 that the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), which had been investigating Det Ch Insp Neil Hibberd’s role in the case since June 2018, had concluded that “had the officer still been serving, he would have been liable for gross misconduct.”

If proven, gross misconduct could result in a serving officer’s dismissal; however, Mr. Hibberd retired in 2017.

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Neil Hibberd was a crucial prosecution witness, and the magistrate cited his testimony as a deciding factor in Ali Kololo’s conviction.

His attorney told the BBC in 2022 that Mr. Hibberd “totally disagrees” with the [IOPCfindings. ]’s

Before the appeal court hearing, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) in Kenya reiterated his stance that Ali Kololo should never have been convicted and sentenced to death, as the trial judge’s findings were “not based on the evidence on file” and were “based on hearsay testimony.”

The DPP stated that Det Ch Insp Neil Hibberd’s testimony regarding the arrest and crucial shoe-print evidence linking Ali Kololo to the crime scene was “purely hearsay evidence.”

Maya Foa, director of the justice charity Reprieve, expresses an overwhelming sense of relief at Ali Kololo’s release.

Ali has awaited this moment for years. Everyone who worked on his case at Reprieve is ecstatic to see him finally released from prison and reunited with his family.

“However, we must not lose sight of all that has been taken from him as a result of a profoundly unfair trial. Tragically, he spent eleven years in prison for a crime he did not commit.