After a ten-year effort to have his conviction overturned, a Kenyan who had been found guilty in a case involving the murder of a British man has been released from prison.
A senior Metropolitan police officer who assisted the Kenyan investigation "omitted key forensic evidence" in the Ali Kololo trial, the BBC revealed in 2022.
According to Ali Kololo's wife, Jude Tebbutt, Ali Kololo is not guilty of the murder.
In April, his conviction is anticipated to be formally overturned.
In 2011, while David Tebbutt and his wife Jude were vacationing at a remote resort on the Kenyan coast, they were attacked. Jude was held hostage for six months in nearby Somalia while David was killed. Only after her adult son Olly negotiated a ransom deal was she freed.
Ali Kololo, a father of two, was found guilty of armed robbery in 2013 and given the death penalty. Later, his death sentence was reduced to life in prison.
Ali Kololo, who has been detained in Mombasa's Shimo La Tewa maximum security prison for more than ten years, joined the appeal hearing at the Kenyan High Court in Malindi on Monday via video link.
According to his attorney, Alfred Olaba, Ali has endured 11 years in prison as the victim of a terrible injustice while David Tebbutt's killers are still at large.
"From the beginning, the evidence against him was flimsy and rife with contradictions. ".
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, revealed in June 2022 that it had come to the conclusion 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, but Mr. Hibberd retired in 2017.
Neil Hibberd was a crucial witness for the prosecution, and the magistrate used his testimony as one of the determining factors in Ali Kololo's conviction.
According to his attorney, Mr. Hibberd "absolutely disagrees with the [IOPC] findings," the BBC reported in 2022.
The Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) in Kenya reiterated his position prior to the appeal court hearing that Ali Kololo should never have been found guilty and given a death sentence because the trial judge's conclusions were "not based on the evidence on record" and were "based on hearsay testimony.". .
According to the DPP, Det Ch Insp Neil Hibberd's testimony regarding the arrest and crucial shoe-print evidence connecting Ali Kololo to the crime scene was "pure hearsay evidence.".
Maya Foa, director of the justice organization Reprieve, claims that the release of Ali Kololo has sparked an enormous wave of relief.
She says, "We hope the High Court will soon reverse his conviction.
"But even as we rejoice in Ali's release, we must not forget all that has been taken from him and his family.