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21 December 2021

Alleged terrorist accused of stabbing MP Sir David Amess to death pleads not guilty at Old Bailey

21 December 2021

An alleged terrorist has denied fatally stabbing Sir David Amess.

Ali Harbi Ali is accused of murdering the Conservative MP for Southend West during a constituency surgery in Leigh-on-Sea in Essex.

The 25-year-old is also charged with preparing acts of terrorism between May 1 2019 and September 28 this year.

Ali entered not guilty pleas to the charges at a hearing before Mr Justice Sweeney at the Old Bailey on Tuesday.

The senior judge appeared remotely from Manchester Crown Court while Ali was in the dock at the Central Criminal Court in London.

The defendant, wearing a blue sweatshirt and grey jogging bottoms, stood with his arms crossed as he confirmed his identity and entered pleas without removing his face mask.

A court sketch of Ali Harbi Ali during a previous court appearance (Elizabeth Cook/PA) (PA Wire)

It is alleged that on the morning of October 15, Ali travelled by train from his home in Kentish Town, north London, to attend Sir David’s surgery at Belfairs Methodist Church.

During the meeting, he allegedly produced a large knife from his pocket and repeatedly stabbed Sir David.

The veteran MP was pronounced dead at the scene at 1.10pm.

Before the killing, Ali allegedly engaged in reconnaissance of locations of targets to attack, including addresses associated with MPs and the Houses of Parliament.

He also made an internet search relating to targets, it is claimed.

Previously, a provisional trial date had been set at the Old Bailey for March 7 next year.

Following discussions with prosecutor Tom Little QC and defence barrister Tracy Ayling QC, Mr Justice Sweeney agreed to put the trial back to March 21.

Following the half-hour hearing, the defendant was remanded into custody.

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