PHOTO | FILE Judith Tebbutt.
Sunday, August 04, 2013
The British Government is still pursuing five Somali pirates who
kidnapped Judith Tebbutt and shot dead her publishing executive husband
David three years ago at a beach resort on Kiwayu Island, Lamu.
A senior detective with Scotland Yard told the Sunday Nation
the police are following up crucial leads that could help them seize
the gunmen who held Mrs Tebbutt hostage for six months in Somalia.
The British press reported that the gang
reportedly received a Sh90 million ransom for the release of the
partially deaf social worker.
Detective Superintendent Neil Hibberd, who is in
charge of British counter-terrorism operations in East Africa and Horn
of Africa region, said Scotland Yard is committed to arresting Mr
Tebbutt’s killers and his widow’s abductors in collaboration with
unnamed regional security agencies.
“We are serious in our operations to arrest the
rest of gang whether they are affiliated to terrorists or pirate
groups,” Mr Hibberd told the Sunday Nation outside the Lamu
court on July 29 following the conviction and sentencing of Ali Babitu
Kololo for his role in the killing and kidnapping.
“At the moment we wish not to comment further but
as I have stated we are keen on ensuring the rest of the gang who were
accomplices of Ali Babitu Kololo are arrested and taken through due
But Mr Hibberd, who was flanked by Detective Chief
Inspector Robbert Jeffery, was non-committal on reports that Kenya and
Somalia national intelligence teams are involved in the investigations.
Mr Hibberd was among 12 British detectives flown
to Kiwayu Island shortly after the September 10, 2011 attack at the
Kiwayu Safari Village (KSV) beach resort.
The team included crime scene experts, and
ballistic and blood sampling scientists who were invited by the Kenya
Government to assist in the investigations.
Mr Hibberd described Mr Kololo, who was sentenced
to death for the violent attack on the British couple by Lamu senior
principal magistrate Johnstone Munguti, as a key member of a Somali
“I believe that Mr Kololo was a key member of the
gang that attacked Kiwayu Safari Village which led to the cold-blooded
murder of Mr David Tebbutt and kidnap of his wife, Judith (pictured),
who was subsequently taken to Somalia for six months,” he said.
Mr Ali Kololo was convicted on circumstantial
evidence on two counts of robbery with violence and kidnapping with
intent to cause murder. In his judgment, Mr Munguti found him criminally
responsible for planning and executing the violent attack.
“The court finds you as an active participant
because you were involved in planning and kidnapping. The fact that you
removed Mrs Tebbutt from Banda Zero before she was taken to Somalia
means you are held criminally liable.”
“The court has entered a conviction order for both
counts and sentenced you according to the laws of our land. For the
first charge of robbery with violence, I have sentenced you to suffer
death and for the second count, I have sentenced you to seven years in
prison,” he said.
The court dismissed Kololo’s defence that he was
himself a victim of kidnapping after he alleged to have been arrested
while on his way to report an incident where he claimed to have been
kidnapped by nine armed Somali poachers at Mkokoni police station.
The court said it is not credible that Kololo’s
alleged kidnapping could happen the same night the Tebbutts were
attacked by armed Somali pirates inside their cottage.
“The fact that you arrived at Mvundeni village at
Mr Omar Bunu’s (a witness) house at midnight on the same night Judith
Tebbutt was removed from Banda Zero (cottage)and taken to Somalia does
not add up. If you claim to have been kidnapped, how then did you end up
following the same people in the same direction they were going?” he
The magistrate said the accused knew the area very
well and directly participated in the attack, based on consistent
evidence from 20 prosecution witnesses and exhibits. He said a print
from a Tanga shoe similar to one worn by Mr Kololo at the time of his
arrest was spotted in various places on around the beach and near