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David Amess murder trial delayed again due to judge’s Covid diagnosis

The trial into the murder of MP Sir David Amess has been delayed (PA)
The trial into the murder of MP Sir David Amess has been delayed (PA)

The trial of an alleged terrorist for the murder of MP Sir David Amess has been halted again after the judge tested positive for Covid-19.

The defence case for Ali Harbi Ali had been due to start on Monday at the Old Bailey, having previously been delayed for a week when three jurors tested positive.

Mr Justice Sweeney has since come down with Covid, though he is symptomless.

Addressing jurors during a five-minute hearing, the Recorder of London, Judge Mark Lucraft, said: “The eagle-eyed amongst you will have spotted that I’m not Mr Justice Sweeney.

Ali Harbi Ali court case
Terror suspect Ali Harbi Ali caught on CCTV making his way from his home in Kentish Town to Essex on the day he is alleged to have murdered Sir David Amess (Metropolitan Police/PA)

“I’m sorry to say he tested positive for Covid at the weekend. He has no symptoms.”

One juror continues to test positive for Covid, the judge said.

The trial is listed to resume on Thursday.

Ali, 26, is accused of stabbing 69-year-old Sir David, the MP for Southend West, to death during a constituency surgery in Leigh-on-Sea on October 15 last year.

The defendant, from Kentish Town, north London, denies murder and preparing acts of terrorism.