A decade-long effort to have a Kenyan man's conviction overturned in a case involving the murder of a British man has resulted in the release of the man from prison.
In 2022, the BBC reported that a senior Metropolitan police officer who helped with the Kenyan investigation "omitted key forensic evidence" in Ali Kololo's trial.
Ali Kololo is innocent, according to Jude Tebbutt, the victim's wife.
In April, it is anticipated that his conviction will be formally overturned.
In 2011, David Tebbutt and his wife Jude were being attacked while staying at a remote resort on the Kenyan coast. Jude was held hostage in nearby Somalia for six months while David was killed. She was only freed after her adult son Olly arranged a ransom arrangement.
Ali Kololo, a father of two, was found guilty of armed robbery and given the death penalty after a trial in 2013. Later, his death sentence was changed to a life sentence.
Ali Kololo, a long-term prisoner at Mombasa's Shimo La Tewa maximum security facility, joined the appeal hearing at the Kenyan High Court in Malindi on Monday via video link.
In the words of his attorney, Alfred Olaba, "Ali has suffered in prison for 11 years, the victim of a terrible injustice, while David Tebbutt's killers remain free.".
"Riddled with contradictions from the beginning, the case against him was weak. ".
According to a BBC report from June 2022, the Independent Office for Police Conduct (IOPC), which had been looking into Det Ch Insp Neil Hibberd's involvement in the case since June 2018 had found that "had the officer still been serving, he would have had a case to answer for gross misconduct.".
A serving officer could be fired for gross misconduct if it were to be proven; however, Mr. Hibberd retired in 2017.
A crucial witness for the prosecution, Neil Hibberd's testimony was used by the magistrate as one of the determining factors in Ali Kololo's conviction.
In 2022, Mr. Hibberd's attorney told the BBC that he "absolutely disagrees with the [IOPC] findings.".
Since the trial judge's conclusions were "not based on the evidence on record" and were "based on hearsay testimony," the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) in Kenya reiterated his position before the appeal court hearing that Ali Kololo should never have been found guilty and given the death penalty. .
Det Ch Insp Neil Hibberd's testimony regarding the arrest and crucial shoe-print evidence connecting Ali Kololo to the crime scene, according to the DPP, was described as "pure hearsay evidence.".
There is a tremendous sense of relief that Ali Kololo has finally been released, according to Maya Foa, director of the justice organization Reprieve.
We anticipate the High Court overturning his conviction soon, she adds.
"However, despite the fact that we should be happy for Ali, we must not forget all that has been taken from him and his family.