Accused killer of British MP had Third Reich eagle at home

November 21, 2016 7:58 AM EST

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By Michael Holden

LONDON (Reuters) - Police searching the house of the man accused of killing British member of parliament Jo Cox found Nazi materials including books and an eagle ornament bearing a swastika, a prosecutor told his trial on Monday.

Thomas Mair, 53, had also collected newspaper clippings about Cox, including a print-out of an article she wrote for her local paper about why she wanted Britain to stay in the European Union.

Labour MP Cox, 41, was shot three times and repeatedly stabbed on the street in the town of Birstall, part of her electoral district in northern England, a week before Britain voted to leave the EU in June.

Local man Mair is accused of her murder, as well as causing grievous bodily harm to a pensioner who came to her aid and illegally possessing a firearm and knife.

Mair declined to enter a plea at a pre-trial hearing in October, so a judge recorded pleas of not guilty to all charges on his behalf.

His trial has been told how Cox suffered a ferocious attack when she arrived at the Birstall library to give an advice session to local residents, and that when apprehended by police Mair had said "It's me" and described himself as a political activist.

Jurors heard Cox's assailant had shouted something like "Keep Britain independent" and "Britain first" during the attack.

On Monday, prosecutor Richard Whittam showed the jury at London's Old Bailey criminal court police pictures of Mair's sparsely furnished home in Birstall, where he had lived for the last 20 years.

The Nazi eagle was on top of a bookcase in one of the bedrooms, while on neatly organized shelves were dozens of books about German military history, Nazi racial theory and white supremacism.

The books included titles such as "Hitler's Hangman", "Fascism in Britain" and the anti-Semitic text "Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion", while there was also a Nazi Waffen SS book on race theory and mate selection guidelines.

During the police search, Whittam said officers found a newspaper cutting about Anders Breivik, a Norwegian far-right extremist who killed 77 people in 2011 and a number of articles about Cox. These included a column she penned with a Conservative lawmaker for the Guardian newspaper titled "British forces could help achieve an ethical solution in Syria".

He had also read articles about the far right British National Party, the Ku Klux Klan and Dylann Roof, the man accused of killing nine black parishioners at a church in Charleston, South Carolina, the court heard.

The trial continues.

(Editing by Mark Trevelyan)



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