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Man pleads not guilty to murder of British lawmaker Amess

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By Reuters
Man pleads not guilty to murder of British lawmaker Amess
Man pleads not guilty to murder of British lawmaker Amess   -   Copyright  Thomson Reuters 2021   -  

<div> <p><span class="caps">LONDON</span> – A man accused of stabbing to death British lawmaker David Amess at a church where he was meeting voters in October pleaded not guilty at a court hearing on Tuesday.</p> <p>Ali Harbi Ali, 25, the son of an ex-media adviser to a former prime minister of Somalia, is accused of repeatedly knifing Amess in a church hall where he was meeting voters in his constituency.</p> <p>The suspect, who is charged with murder and preparing acts of terrorism, pleaded not guilty on both counts. He is due to stand trial in March next year.</p> <p>The killing of 69-year-old Amess, a father of five children, five years after another British member of parliament was murdered on the street, prompted calls for better protection of lawmakers.</p> <p>A member of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservative Party, he was attacked at the Belfairs Methodist Church in Leigh-on-Sea, northeast of London, and died there despite the efforts of paramedics.</p> <p>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.</p> <p/> </div>