Man Accused of Stabbing to Death UK Conservative MP Amess Pleads Not Guilty
12:38 GMT 21.12.2021 (Updated: 15:17 GMT 28.05.2023)
On 15 October, Sir David Amess was stabbed to death during a meeting with his constituents. He had served as Conservative MP for Southend West since 1997. The perpetrator, a 25-year-old British citizen of Somali heritage, was previously referred to a government programme aimed at preventing individuals from being radicalised.
A man accused of stabbing British lawmaker Sir David Amess in October has pleaded not guilty at a court hearing. 25-year-old Ali Harbi Ali, who was charged with murder and preparation of terrorist acts, pleaded not guilty on both counts of murder and preparation of terrorist acts.
Earlier, prosecutor James Cable said the perpetrator considered himself affiliated with Daesh* and came up with a plan to kill a British MP several years ago. He is the son of Harbi Ali Kullane, a former media adviser to a former prime minister of Somalia. According to The Guardian, Mr Kullane worked on "anti-extremism" projects.
Ali Harbi Ali was referred to the counter-terrorist scheme "Prevent" several years ago. The programme is meant to prevent individuals from being radicalised and recruited by terrorist groups. Local media write that he was not monitored by British intelligence agencies. Law enforcement previously said he had both religious and ideological motivations.
The Sun wrote, citing friends of the man, that Ali became radicalised after watching videos of Islamist hate preacher Anjem Choudary on YouTube.
Sir David Amess had served as Conservative MP for Southend West since 1997. Before that, he represented Basilton from 1983. The father of five, who was described by his family as "a man of peace", was fatally stabbed on 15 October during a meeting with his constituents. His death shocked the country and prompted a debate on how to protect legislators.
Sir David is the second lawmaker to be killed in the past five years, following the 2016 murder of Labour MP Joe Cox, who was shot and stabbed in England as she was preparing to hold a meeting with constituents. The killer, a 58-year-old man with right-wing views, was sentenced to life imprisonment.
Britain’s terror level was recently raised to severe following a bomb explosion outside Liverpool’s Women Hospital last month. Scotland Yard’s Deputy Assistant Commissioner Matt Twist has called on the public to display caution, saying “another attack is highly likely”.
*Daesh (ISIL/ISIS/Islamic State), a terrorist group banned in Russia and a number of other countries.