Man accused of murdering UK MP to stand trial next year: judge

AFP News Agency

22nd Oct, 2021. 07:14 pm
Sir David Amess was attacked at Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex

Sir David Amess was attacked at Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex (Picture: Rex/w8media)

LONDON – The 25-year-old man accused of murdering British lawmaker David Amess will go on trial next year, a judge said on Friday.

At an administrative hearing at the Old Bailey in central London, judge Nigel Sweeney set a provisional trial date of March 7.

Ali Harbi Ali, from north London, is accused of stabbing Amess to death last Friday, as he met constituents in Leigh-on-Sea, east of the capital.

The Crown Prosecution Service, which handles criminal cases in England and Wales, has said the murder “has a terrorist connection” with “religious and ideological motivations”.

Ali faces a separate charge of preparing acts of terrorism between May 1, 2019 and September this year.

He appeared via videolink from Belmarsh high security prison in southeast London and spoke only to confirm his name and date of birth during the brief hearing.

He was remanded in custody until another pre-trial hearing on November 5.

Amess, who was 69 and had five children, was a long-serving and respected member of parliament for Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative party.

His killing was the second of a British MP in the past five years and has led to calls for better safety for elected representatives when they meet members of the public.