Wed | Mar 21, 2018

Accused killer makes defiant statement

Published:Monday | June 20, 2016 | 12:00 AM
A young couple, with faces painted in European (left) and British colours, pose with a sign ‘Our Love For Great Britain’ during a Kiss Marathon event at Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, Germany, on Sunday, to support the ‘Remain’ voters in Britain’s referendum. The campaign in the referendum over Britain’s future in the European Union is about to resume full throttle after being on hold due to the killing of a popular lawmaker. British voters head to the polls on Thursday to decide if the country should stay in the European Union or leave it.
Police vans arrive at Westminster Magistrates' Court, London, on Saturday, where Thomas Mair made his first appearance after being charged with the murder of British Member of Parliament Jo Cox. Labour Party lawmaker Cox, 41, was shot and stabbed to death on Thursday after getting out of her car in the town of Birstall in her home constituency.


The man accused of murdering British lawmaker Jo Cox gave his name as "Death to traitors, freedom for Britain" in court Saturday, following the killing that has brought campaigning ahead of the country's EU referendum to a standstill.

Thomas Mair, 52, made his defiant statement as he made his first appearance in Westminster Magistrates' Court in London after being charged overnight with the murder of the popular Labour Party lawmaker.

Mair refused to give his correct name and did not answer when asked for his address and date of birth. Labour Party lawmaker Cox, 41, was shot and stabbed to death Thursday after getting out of her car in the town of Birstall in her home constituency. The rare killing in broad daylight of a British politician has stunned the country and silenced what had been a furious campaign ahead of Thursday's referendum on whether Britain should remain in the European Union. Both sides suspended campaigning as a sign of respect for Cox, who became the first sitting member of Parliament to be killed in a quarter-century.

Major campaign events and rallies are not expected to resume until Monday or later, but there were signs Saturday of low-level campaigning being reactivated, with the "leave" campaign adding new posts to its Twitter feed.




Mair was charged with murder, inflicting grievous bodily harm, possession of a firearm with intent to commit a crime, and other gun-related charges.

Deputy Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot said in court that a psychiatric report should be prepared "bearing in mind the name he has just given." Mair will be kept in custody at Belmarsh Prison until his next court appearance, set for Monday at the Old Bailey courthouse.

He was not required to enter a plea during the brief session Saturday, during which he was handcuffed to a guard throughout the proceedings.

Authorities have not offered a motive for the killing. Counter-terrorism police were involved in the investigation looking for possible links, but the charges filed did not include terrorism offenses.

Cox was a former aid worker who championed immigrant rights, bringing an end to Syria's civil war and keeping the United Kingdom in the European Union. The day before her killing, Cox joined her husband and two young children in campaigning for the pro-EU cause on the River Thames, where the family had lived in a houseboat since her election last year.