Libyan, 25, in court over UK 'terror' stabbing

Libyan, 25, in court over UK 'terror' stabbing

A police officer lays flowers near to the scene of reported multiple stabbings
A police officer lays flowers near to the scene of reported multiple stabbings in Reading, Britain, on Jun 22, 2020. (Photo: REUTERS/Peter Nicholls)

LONDON: A 25-year-old Libyan refugee appeared in a UK court on Monday (Jun 29) charged with three counts of murder, after a knife attack in an English park that police called a "terrorist attack".

Khairi Saadallah was also charged with three counts of attempted murder in connection with the Jun 20 stabbings in the historic city of Reading.

Three friends - history teacher James Furlong, 36, US expat Joe Ritchie-Bennett, 39, and David Wails, a 39-year-old scientist - died, each suffering a single stab wound.

Three others were taken to hospital for treatment to stab injuries and later released.

Saadallah was charged on Saturday and followed Monday's court proceedings via videolink.

The defendant, wearing a grey tracksuit and blue facemask, spoke only to confirm his name, date of birth and that he lived in Reading.

No plea was entered and he was remanded in custody until a further hearing on Wednesday.

READ: Security questions after three die in UK knife attack, including US man

Saadallah was initially arrested on suspicion of murder but then re-arrested under counter-terrorism legislation.

The case came after two previous high-profile knife attacks near London Bridge, central London, in November last year, and another in Streatham, in the south of the capital, in February.

Two people were killed in the first and three people injured in the second. Armed police shot dead the perpetrators in both attacks.

Source: AFP/ec

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