LONDON: A man has pleaded not guilty to the murder of MP Sir David Amess in an alleged terror attack. Ali Harbi Ali, 25, from Kentish Town, north London, appeared at the Old Bailey to deny murdering the Conservative politician on 15 October.
Sir David, an MP since 1983, was holding a constituency surgery in Leigh-on-Sea, Essex, when he was stabbed multiple times. The father of five – who was 69 years old – died at the scene.
The defendant also pleaded not guilty to preparing acts of terrorism between May 2019 and September 2021. It is alleged the preparations included engaging in reconnaissance of locations of targets to attack, namely the Houses of Parliament and addresses associated with MPs, and conducting internet research relating to targets.
Mr Ali entered not guilty pleas at a hearing before Mr Justice Sweeney at the Old Bailey in London. The senior judge appeared virtually from Manchester Crown Court while Mr Ali was in the dock at the Central Criminal Court in London.
The defendant wore a blue sweatshirt and grey jogging bottoms and stood with his arms crossed as he confirmed his identity and entered pleas without removing his face mask.
Mr Ali was arrested at Belfairs Methodist Church Hall in Leigh-on-Sea where it is alleged that he stabbed Sir David, MP for Southend West.
Following the half-hour hearing, Mr Ali was remanded in custody ahead of his trial on 21 March 2022.