, 17 tweets, 9 min read Read on Twitter
@ClarkeMicah @nazirafzal I was actually involved in covering the case. I also spoke to eyewitnesses and people who knew Mair. I'm going to set out a few points below since I think the case is important
@ClarkeMicah @nazirafzal It is normal at pre-trial hearings - in cases of all kinds - for discussion on whether medical matters will feature or be at issue in the trial
@ClarkeMicah @nazirafzal I say this because your blog today refers to an “odd” pre-trial hearing during which the defence confirmed it would bring no medical issue into the case
@ClarkeMicah @nazirafzal There was discussion about this at the initial hearings in June 2016 and by the time of the September hearing the defence was in a position to say there would no medical issue
@ClarkeMicah @nazirafzal Your blog also says “most of the evidence was eyewitness accounts of the crime, and reports of the fruits of searching Mair’s miserable home”
@ClarkeMicah @nazirafzal In fact, also central was evidence that Mair used the internet to research Jo Cox and how to kill, as well as his firearm and his ammunition
@ClarkeMicah @nazirafzal He had illegally acquired the firearm – how has still never been established – and he made some effort to plan his attack and escape
@ClarkeMicah @nazirafzal On why the case was treated as political from the start: it was because of the evidence
@ClarkeMicah @nazirafzal For example, Mair made political statements during the attack, on arrest, and during his first court appearance. I was there and remember how deliberate and calculated it appeared
@ClarkeMicah @nazirafzal You also say you found the judge’s sentencing remarks “rather odd, startlingly political in tone”
@ClarkeMicah @nazirafzal Setting aside the fact this was the murder of an MP in what was treated as a terrorist case, the judge had to decide whether to pass a full life term
@ClarkeMicah @nazirafzal Under Schedule 21 of the Criminal Justice Act 2003 such a sentence can be a starting point where a murder was done for the purpose of advancing a political, religious, racial, or ideological cause
@ClarkeMicah @nazirafzal The judge concluded Mair’s crime warranted a full life term and was setting out why in his remarks
@ClarkeMicah @nazirafzal You also refer to Mair apparently visiting a ‘wellbeing centre’ the day before the attack. This may be one of the “facts” you have been tweeting about
@ClarkeMicah @nazirafzal It is not an established fact. I went the centre myself and was not sure Mair had attended. Read the following thread by the Crime Editor of the Times and you’ll see the controversy:
@ClarkeMicah @nazirafzal It was not the only prominently reported story about Mair that may not be accurate. It was widely claimed he had attended a meeting in London in 2000 with several well-known far right activists
@ClarkeMicah @nazirafzal But, again, when I checked the story by speaking to people who were actually there it did not stand up to scrutiny
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