Sir David Amess: Ali Harbi Ali appears at Old Bailey accused of MP’s terror-related murder

Ali Harbi Ali is accused of the terror-related murder of MP Sir David Amess and he could face trial in March of next year

The man accused of the terrorist murder of Sir David Amess could face trial in March next year, the Old Bailey has heard.

Ali Harbi Ali, 25, appeared in the crown court for the first time on Friday by video-link from high security Belmarsh prison accused of stabbing to death the Conservative MP for Southend West during a constituency surgery in Leigh-on-Sea in Essex.

Sign up to our NationalWorld Today newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

The defendant, wearing a grey sweatshirt and sat at a desk, lifted up his face mask to confirm his name and date of birth, during the brief hearing.

Ali was not asked to enter pleas to charges of murdering Sir David, 69, last Friday and preparing acts of terrorism between May 1 2019 and September this year.

Mr Justice Sweeney said a preliminary hearing would take place on November 5 at the same court.

Provisional trial date for March next year

He said a provisional trial date had been identified for March 7 next year.

Ali’s barrister Kevin Toomey made no application for bail and the defendant was remanded into custody.

He is accused of travelling by train from his home in Kentish Town, north London, to attend Sir David’s surgery at Belfairs Methodist Church.

During the meeting, he was allegedly seen to use his mobile phone before standing up, producing a large knife from his pocket and repeatedly stabbing Sir David.

The veteran MP was pronounced dead at the scene at 1.10pm and a preliminary post-mortem report gave the cause of death as multiple stab wounds to the chest.

The Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) alleges the murder has a terrorist connection because of its “religious and ideological” motives.

Ali was charged on Thursday before appearing at Westminster Magistrates’ Court, which heard he had been plotting to kill an MP for two years.

A message from the editor:

Thank you for reading. NationalWorld is a new national news brand, produced by a team of journalists, editors, video producers and designers who live and work across the UK. Find out more about who’s who in the team, and our editorial values. We want to start a community among our readers, so please follow us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, and keep the conversation going. You can also sign up to our email newsletters and get a curated selection of our best reads to your inbox every day.