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Kenyan charged with tourist murder and kidnap

Kenya, Sept 19 – A Kenyan court on Monday charged a man with the murder of a British holidaymaker and the kidnap of his wife, while staying in a luxury beach resort in the east African country.

But Ali Babitu Kololo denied the accusations that he murdered David Tebbutt and worked with gunmen to abduct his wife Judith in the early hours of September 11, and who is now believed to be held in Somalia.

“My client is innocent until proven guilty, and I pray to this court that my client be given bail,” said Kololo’s lawyer George Wakohiu.

The Tebbutts, from Bishop’s Stortford in Herfordshire, were the only guests at the Kiwayu Safari Village, which is just 40 kilometres (25 miles) from the Somali border.

Local residents said Kololo had worked as a night watchman at the remote resort, and was forced by the gunmen to show them where the tourists were staying.

They argue he was used by the armed gang and was not part of the main group.

“It was a case of mistaken of identity and my client is innocent. Let this court consider my client’s pleas of innocence,” added the lawyer.

The court denied him bail, and he is due to reappear for a hearing on October 25.

A second man is being held by police and is expected to appear before the court later this week.

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On Sunday residents of the Somalia’s north-central town of Harardhere said the kidnapped Briton had been brought to a nearby Islamist-controlled village.

The Islamist Shebab rebels who control much of southern Somalia last week declined to comment on the kidnap.

The militiamen last year took control of Harardhere, once a notorious pirate hideout, and vowed to end the crime.

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