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Prosecutor accuses man of 'cowardly' slaying of lawmaker

Associated Press Associated Press 14/11/2016
FILE - In this Friday, June 17, 2016 file photo, people look at tributes for Jo Cox, the 41-year-old British Member of Parliament shot to death yesterday in northern England, on Parliament Square outside the House of Parliament in London. Thomas Mair goes on trial, Monday Nov. 14, 2016, accused of murdering lawmaker Jo Cox, who was slain in the street a week before Britain's EU referendum in June. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham, File) © The Associated Press FILE - In this Friday, June 17, 2016 file photo, people look at tributes for Jo Cox, the 41-year-old British Member of Parliament shot to death yesterday in northern England, on Parliament Square outside the House of Parliament in London. Thomas Mair goes on trial, Monday Nov. 14, 2016, accused of murdering lawmaker Jo Cox, who was slain in the street a week before Britain's EU referendum in June. (AP Photo/Matt Dunham, File)

LONDON — A prosecutor alleges that the man charged with murdering British lawmaker Jo Cox repeatedly shouted "Britain First" as he shot and stabbed her a week before the vote to leave the European Union.

Richard Whittam accused 53-year-old Thomas Mair of carrying out the "cowardly attack" in his opening statement as the trial opened Monday. The June 16 attack shocked Britain at a time of heated debate about sovereignty, immigration and self-determination ahead of the landmark vote.

Cox, who supported the campaign to stay in the EU, was about to hold a session in her constituency in northern England when she was attacked. A 77-year-old local man risked his own life in an attempt to save her.

Jurors were told that Mair had pleaded not guilty.

The case is expected to last three weeks.

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