Judith Tebbutt: Kenyan denies robbery and kidnap

Image source, AFP
Image caption,
The resort where the Tebbutts were staying is near the Somali border

A second man has appeared in a Kenyan court over the murder of a British tourist and the abduction of his wife.

David Tebbutt, 58, of Hertfordshire, was shot dead at a resort on 11 September. Pirates in Somalia are reportedly holding his wife Judith, 56.

Issa Sheikh Said pleaded not guilty to robbery with violence and kidnapping. He is due back in court in October.

On 19 September, Ali Babitu Kololo also pleaded not guilty to charges of abduction and robbery with violence.

'Forced at gunpoint'

Mr Kololo, who used to work in Kiwayu Safari Village, where the Tebbutts were staying, said he was forced at gunpoint to lead a group of men to the hotel and was not a willing accomplice.

The Tebbutts, from Bishops Stortford, were the only guests at the resort, some 45km (28 miles) from Somalia's border.

Image source, bbc

Mr Kololo said Kenyan authorities had beaten him during an interrogation over the attack on the couple.

BBC East Africa correspondent Will Ross says the allegation potentially puts the British police investigating the case in a somewhat awkward position.

He says the BBC has made contact with a pirate group that says it is holding Mrs Tebbutt.

The pirates are believed to be operating out of bases on the Somali coast in the same area where Britons Paul and Rachel Chandler were held for more than a year.

Mrs Tebbutt was reportedly taken at first to a part of southern Somalia largely controlled by the Islamist group al-Shabaab.

Somalia has been seen fighting between various militias for two decades, so weapons are widely available and there are many armed groups who could be responsible for the attack.

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