Kenya: The sentence of a Kenyan man convicted of his role in the murder of a Briton is overturned
By Ahmad Hadizat Omayoza, MAMOS Nigeria
Kenya’s high court overturned a man’s conviction for being part of a pirate gang that killed a British tourist 12 years ago.
In connection with the 2011 attack that resulted in the death of David Tebbutt and the six-month imprisonment of his wife, Judith, in Somalia, Ali Kololo, a Lamu County resident, was found guilty of robbery with violence.
The high court in Malindi ruled on Thursday that his conviction was unsafe and overturned his sentence.
Judith and David Tebbutt were attacked by gunmen in September 2011 while on vacation at a luxurious beach resort in Lamu, Kenya, along the border between Kenya and Somalia. An outfitted gathering broke into their manor, killing David and seizing Judith, who was taken to Somalia, where she was kept locked down until, as indicated by reports, her child paid a payment of £800,000 for her delivery.
Kololo, who has kept up with his honesty, was condemned to death in 2013. He was imprisoned in Kenya’s Shimo la Tewa maximum security prison, which is known for housing some of the country’s most dangerous criminals, after his sentence was reduced to life in prison.
After an appeal hearing in February of this year, Kololo was granted bail pending the judgment of the high court.
Kenya’s director of public prosecutions (DPP) stated at that hearing that Kololo should never have been convicted because the findings of the trial judge were “not based on the evidence on record.”
The DPP said that a senior Metropolitan police officer’s testimony and the shoe print that was supposed to link him to the crime scene were “purely hearsay evidence.”
The Independent Office for Police Conduct, a British police watchdog, found that detective chief inspector Neil Hibberd, who had assisted the Kenyan police with the investigation and was a key prosecution witness, had “omitted key forensic evidence” during the trial, as reported by the BBC. The retired Hibberd told the BBC that he “absolutely disagrees” with the findings of the watchdog.
Relief, the non-benefit association of global legal counselors and specialists that has been lobbying for Kololo’s delivery, said the previous woodcutter had been tormented into an admission. The majority of the prosecution documents and proceedings, which were in English and Kiswahili—neither of which the Boni tribesman understood fluently—were written in English, which he did not understand because he did not have a lawyer or an interpreter at the trial.
According to Kololo’s attorney, Alfred Olaba, “It is hard to talk about justice when an innocent young man has lost 11 years of his life to a rigged investigation and unfair trial, but today, Kenyan courts finally began to right this terrible wrong.” I thank the court for its decision and commend the director of public prosecutions for finally recognizing that Ali should never have been convicted.