Suspect pleads not guilty to murder of British lawmaker Amess2 min read
Ali Harbi Ali, 25, is accused of stabbing David Amess several times as he held a meeting with constituents.
A man accused of killing British parliamentarian David Amess at a church where he was meeting voters in October has pleaded not guilty at a court hearing.
Ali Harbi Ali, 25, is accused of repeatedly stabbing Amess in a church hall in the English seaside town of Southend, where he was meeting voters from his constituency.
The suspect, who is charged with murder and preparing acts of terrorism, pleaded not guilty on both counts before Mr Justice Sweeney at the Old Bailey on Tuesday.
The senior judge appeared remotely from Manchester Crown Court while Ali, the son of an ex-media adviser to a former prime minister of Somalia, was in the dock at the court in the English capital, London.
He is due to stand trial in March next year.
Wearing a blue sweatshirt and grey jogging bottoms, Ali stood with his arms crossed and spoke only to confirm his identity and enter his pleas at the brief hearing.
He was remanded in custody.
The killing of 69-year-old Amess, a father of five children, five years after Jo Cox, another British member of parliament, was murdered on the street, prompted calls for better protection of lawmakers.
A member of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party, Amess was attacked at the Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea, northeast of London, and died there despite the efforts of paramedics.
British lawmakers regularly hold “surgeries”, or one-to-one meetings with voters in their constituencies, a tradition considered a bedrock of democracy.
But with little or no security and an emphasis on access for all, surgeries can make lawmakers vulnerable.