A former hotel employee in Kenya has been charged today with kidnapping British tourist Judith Tabbut and shooting her husband David.
Ali Babitu Kalola, a 25-year-old father of three, has appeared in court on Lama Island on charges of kidnapping and violent robbery.
David and Judith Tabbut were attacked on September 11 while vacationing at a remote Kenyan beach resort
Prosecutors said they believe Ali Babitu Kalola was part of six gangs armed with AK-47 rifles that stormed the Tebbut beach cottage in the village of Safari Kiveu near the Somali border.
Ali Babitu Kalalo and his unknown accomplices allegedly stole the couple’s handbag, cash and passports before shooting 58-year-old David Tabbut and kidnapping his 56-year-old wife Judith Tabbut.
Today, Colola admitted in court that he led the raiders to the spot just before the northern attack.
But the worker claimed he did so only after a gang of unknown Somali criminals took him under arms.
Colola claimed that the raiders last Saturday took him to the city of Odo in Somalia before sailing out to sea, and ordered to send them after dark to a hotel where he had previously worked as a maintenance worker.
“Men found me while I was cutting down trees in the forest. I was with a colleague, but he escaped, and gunmen kidnapped me. They took me to Odo, and from there the hijackers took me deep into the sea by boat.
“Around 11pm they took me to the hotel. They were armed and made me show them the way. “
Kololo admitted to sending the gang to the Kivau Hotel, which is about 30 miles from Somalia.
But he told the court that at this stage he did not know that Tabbutz had called at the resort, and said he had neither entered the couple’s cottage nor heard the fatal shot that killed David Tabbut.
Ali Babitu Kalola claimed to have escaped from his abductors when they landed on the beach before surrendering to police the next day.
“When we landed on the beach, it was dark and I ran into the bushes. They would have killed me if I had refused to go with them and I did what I did to save my life.
“I’m not a bad person. If I had been, I would not have surrendered to the police and not informed them. “
Calolo’s statement about his actions on September night is the most vivid description of the moments before the attack on the tabbots.
David and Judith Tebut were from Episcopal Stortford in Hertfordshire and arrived in the village of Safari Kiway a few hours before the pirates attacked.
David Tabbutt, head of publishing, died in a grass-covered beach hut after being shot in the chest when apparently resisting the group.
Judith Tabbut, a deaf social worker, was then put on a boat bound for Somalia.
Ali Babitu Kalola was arrested on September 11 and today pleaded not guilty to both charges but was remanded in custody.
The two items, which do not include murder, reflect the state’s belief that Ali Babitu Kalola was involved in the death of David Tabbut, but not necessarily that he himself was directly responsible for the murder.
Ali Babitu Kalola then said he had been tortured by police.
“They beat and tortured me. They hit my manly strength and beat my stomach.
“Then I was denied to the hospital. They want me to plead guilty, but I’m innocent and I could never do that. “
The suspect was ordered to reappear for further hearing on October 25.
Ali Babitu Kalola’s lawyer, George Wakahiu, later said he planned to apply for a power of attorney.