Widow of man killed by Somali pirates on holiday says man convicted is innocent

A woman whose husband was shot dead after they were kidnapped by Somali pirates on holiday, claims the man who was convicted in the case is actually innocent.

Judith Tebbutt, 67, and her husband David were snatched by the armed criminals from a beach resort in Kenya in 2011.

David was tragically shot dead but she was kept captive for six months until her family paid a ransom of around £600,000.

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The widow is calling for Ali Babitu Kololo to be freed as she believes he was wrongly convicted of her husband's murder.

Kololo is the only person to be convicted for the crimes and was issued a death sentence in 2013.

However, the sentence has since been commuted to life imprisonment.

Mrs Tebutt has accused Scotland Yard detectives of using him as a "scapegoat" and says her attackers are still out there.

She told the Sunday Times: "I believe he is an innocent man and should be freed.

"I know for sure that he wasn't part of that 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. The people that took me are still out there."

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A few days after the abduction, a group of counter-terrorism detectives from the Met Police travelled to Kenya to assist with the investigation.

The head of the team at the time, detective chief inspector Neil Hibberd, was the prosecution's key witness during Kololo's overseas trial.

An Independent Office for Police Conduct investigation flagged a "suspicion" in the case earlier this year.

They found that a now-retired Hibberd "would have a case to answer for gross misconduct" following the evidence he gave in the trial.

However, Commander Richard Smith, of Met's Counter Terrorism Command, said there is no avenue to investigate him.

Hibberd was later promoted to detective superintendent and left before December 2017.

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