‘I’m sorry,’ British tourist to Kenyan murder convict freed after 11 years
In a touching display of empathy, a British tourist apologises to a Kenyan man wrongly convicted of murder.
British tourist Judith Tebbutt recently apologized to Ali Babito Kololo, a man wrongly sentenced to death for the murder of her husband, David Tebbutt, over a decade ago.
Mr. Kololo was set free by the High Court in Malindi after serving 11 years in prison.
Ms. Tebbutt expressed her regret for the suffering that Mr. Kololo, his family, and his children endured due to his wrongful conviction.
She also thanked the court for its decision to release him, stating that he was not part of the gang that attacked and robbed the couple before murdering her husband and holding her hostage for six months.
Ms. Tebbutt has been campaigning for Mr. Kololo’s release for the past decade, and she expressed her understanding of how unjust and unfair the original trial was.
She was particularly concerned that the balance of power was stacked against Mr. Kololo. The Malindi High Court Judge, Stephen Githinji, quashed the life sentence imposed on Mr. Kololo after reviewing evidence, including documents from the UK.
In his first interview after his release, Mr. Kololo expressed his gratitude to God for his freedom and his intention to focus on raising his children.
He also thanked the court for setting him free. Mr. Kololo’s lawyer, Alfred Olaba, lamented that an innocent young man had lost 11 years of his life to a rigged investigation and unfair trial.
The injustice in Mr. Kololo’s case was apparent from the start, and the Reprieve organization has been helping with his case since 2013.
Reprieve Director Maya Foa described Mr. Kololo’s trial as one of the most unfair imaginable, with a staggering imbalance of power between the senior Metropolitan Police detective testifying for the prosecution and the illiterate defendant.
Mr. Kololo was also tried in a language he did not understand, and he did not have the aid of a lawyer for most of the trial.
This is a powerful reminder of the importance of a fair trial and the devastating impact of injustice. It is also a testament to the power of perseverance and the impact that one person can have in righting a wrong.
Ms. Tebbutt’s apology to Mr. Kololo is a moving gesture of empathy and compassion, and it highlights the human toll of wrongful convictions.