Man in court for kidnapped care worker

PUBLISHED: 15:30 21 September 2011 | UPDATED: 15:30 21 September 2011

A KENYAN man has been charged in connection with the raid in which a Kneesworth House worker was kidnapped and her husband was shot dead.

Judith Tebbutt, 56, and her husband, David, were holidaying in the remote Kiwayu Safari Village on the Kenyan coast, near the Somalian border, when their beach hut was stormed by gunmen on September 11.

The Bassingbourn based social worker was allegedly forced aboard a speedboat and has not been seen since.

A former resort employee appeared in court on the island of Lamu to plead not guilty to kidnapping and robbery charges.

Ali Babitu Kololo, 25, told the courtroom that he had been forced to co-operate with the gang at gunpoint, adding he voluntarily went to police the next day to report the crime.

A second man, Issa Sheck Saadi, is expected to appear in court later.

The Tebbutts, from Bishops Stortford, were the only guests at the Kiwayu and arrived after visiting the Masai Mara game reserve and were the resort’s only guests.

Kenyan military and police are searching for Mrs Tebbutt with helicopter gunships, spotter planes and speed boats all being used.

There have been no ransom demands and no group has claimed responsibility for the raid.

The beach resort is only 30 miles from the southern Somalian border which is controlled by the al-Qa’ida linked al-Shabaab group.

Militants are currently waging a war against the country - which is led by a Western-backed government.

A team of Metropolitan police officers has travelled to Kenya to help local authorities with their investigations, while the Foreign Office has deployed a team to the area from the high commission in Nairobi.

Prime Minister David Cameron last week said the government was doing everything possible to resolve the kidnapping.

The Foreign Office has asked the media not to speculate on Mrs Tebbutt’s whereabouts or the identity of her captors for fear of endangering her, and is continuing to call for her release.

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