A handout photograph released by the UK Parliament shows a note above a seat, requesting it be left vacant, as members of parliament hearing tributes in memory of their killed colleague David Amess, at the House of Commons in London on October 18, 2021. — AFP / UK Parliament pic
LONDON, Oct 21 — A 25-year-old man has been charged with murder, after British MP David Amess was stabbed to death last week, the Crown Prosecution Service and police said today.
Ali Harbi Ali, who was arrested at the scene of the killing in Leigh-on-Sea, east of London, last Friday, also faces a separate charge of preparing acts of terrorism.
He was due to appear before magistrates in central London later today.
Amess, a 69-year-old father-of-five, was killed as he met constituents at a church hall, in the second such death of a British MP in the last five years.
The veteran Conservative MP’s death sparked an outpouring of tributes from his parliamentary colleagues but also calls for better security for elected representatives.
Labour MP Jo Cox was killed as she met constituents in the febrile run-up to the Brexit referendum in June 2016.
Nick Price, head of the CPS special crime and counter-terrorism unit, said lawyers would submit that Amess’ killing “has a terrorist connection, namely that it had both religious and ideological motivations”.
“He (Ali) has also been charged with the preparation of terrorist acts,” he added.
“This follows a review of the evidence gathered by the Metropolitan Police in its investigation,” he added.
Matt Jukes, assistant commissioner for specialist operations at the Met, told reporters that investigations into the case were continuing.
“There has been considerable speculation in the media about the background, history and motivation of the man now charged,” he said in a statement.
“I understand the huge level of public interest in this case.
“But now a charge has been brought, it is vitally important that everyone exercises restraint when commenting on it publicly, to ensure future court proceedings are not prejudiced in any way.” — AFP
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