Kenyan man accused of helping kidnap British tourist Judith Tebbutt.
18 Sep 2011
Ali Babitu Kololo, 25, was arrested last week after Mrs Tebbutt, 56, was abducted and her husband David, 58, shot dead during the couple’s holiday at an exclusive beach resort near Somalia.
Police sources today said the former hotel worker was due to appear in court tomorrow on the island of Lamu.
It is believed he will face charges of abduction and robbery in connection with last Saturday’s tragedy.
A senior police officer, who declined to be named, said: “The suspect has been interrogated and we believe there is evidence that he was involved.
“He will appear in court on Monday and will be charged with abduction and robbery.”
The divorced father of two is a former employee of the remote Kiwayu Safari Village where Mr and Mrs Tebbutt were attacked.
The couple, from Bishop’s Stortford in Hertfordshire, had just arrived at the exclusive resort when a gang of suspected pirates burst into their beach cottage last Saturday night.
Babitu, who was previously employed as a maintenance worker at the hotel, handed himself into police the following morning.
He allegedly admitted to detectives that he had helped direct the armed raiders to the Tebbutts’ cottage the previous evening.
But he is believed to have claimed he did so only under duress after being held up at gunpoint himself.
Babitu spent last week in custody at a police station on Kenya’s mainland before being transferred yesterday to Lamu.
The skinny suspect was handcuffed and guarded by several armed officers as he was put into a police speedboat for the 15 minute journey.
Barefoot and dressed in a baggy T-shirt and trousers, he was then led onto the quay side and taken to the island’s police station.
Officials said he was due to appear in court early tomorrow morning.
A second suspect Isa Sheikh Saadi, 37, was yesterday also transferred to Lamu after being arrested on Tuesday.
The Kenyan national, believed to be an associate of Babitu, was today still being questioned by police.
A major search and rescue operation remains underway to find Mrs Tebbutt.
The social worker, who is partially deaf, is believed to be in Somalia where she is reportedly being held captive by pirates.
Experts have said it is likely her kidnappers are preparing to film a video in which they are expected to demand a ransom for her release.
A team of Metropolitan Police detectives last week flew to Kenya to help the investigation.
The officers conducted a forensic examination of the luxurious Kiwayu resort, which lies just 30 miles south of the Somali border.
It is believed Mr Tebbutt died after being shot in the chest as tried to protect his wife from the attackers.
His body is expected to be repatriated this week to Britain.