BREAKING ESSEX Leigh on Sea LONDON

A man has been charged with the murder of Sir David Amess MP

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Ali Harbi Ali, 25 of north London, was charged on Thursday, 21 October with murder (contrary to common law), and preparation of terrorist acts (contrary to Section 5 of the Terrorism Act 2006).

The charges were authorised by the Crown Prosecution Service’s Special Crime and Counter Terrorism Division (SCCTD).

Ali remains in custody and will first appear at Westminster Magistrates’ Court on Thursday, 21 October.

Matt Jukes, Assistant Commissioner for Specialist Operations, said: “I want to send my deepest condolences to the family, friends and colleagues of Sir David Amess, who died so tragically last Friday.

“Sir David’s dedication to his family, his constituents and his community, and his positive impact on the lives of so many has shone through.

Today’s charge is a significant milestone in the case, but the work from my colleagues in the Met’s Counter Terrorism Command will continue apace.

There has been considerable speculation in the media about the background, history and motivation of the man now charged.

“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.”

+ The Attorney General’s Office issued the following advice on 18 October, relating to media reporting and online commentary about this case:

Following the arrest of a man in Essex on Friday, 15 October, the Attorney General reminds editors, publishers and social media users that for the purpose of the Contempt of Court Act 1981 (the Act), proceedings are active and the strict liability rule under the Act therefore applies.

In particular, the Attorney General wishes to draw attention to the risks in publishing material, including on-line, that asserts or assumes, expressly or implicitly, the guilt of any of those arrested, or that otherwise interferes with the administration of justice in this case, for example allegations of wrongdoing of any individual arrested in relation to this matter.

The Attorney General’s Office will be monitoring the coverage of these proceedings.

Editors, publishers and social media users are reminded of their responsibilities under the Act and should take legal advice to ensure they are in a position to fully comply with the obligations imposed by the Act.