Suspect in hacking death of British soldier appears in court

June 3, 2013 at 5:14 PM
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LONDON, June 3 (UPI) -- Michael Adebolajo appeared in a London court for the first time Monday, nearly two weeks after he allegedly slashed to death a young British soldier.

The 28-year-old appeared in Westminster Magistrates Court with his left arm heavily bandaged after spending nine days in the hospital to recover from injuries he received when police shot him at the scene of the attack, The Daily Telegraph reported.

He was remanded into custody after prosecutors told the court Adebolajo was charged with the May 22 slaying of Lee Rigby in Woolwich.

He also is charged with the attempted murder of two police officers and possession of a firearm.

Adebolajo told the court he wanted to be known as Mujahid Abu Hamza, a name his attorney also used in referring to his client.

Michael Adebowale, 22, is also charged in Rigby's death. He appeared in court Monday by way of a video link from Belmarsh Prison.

He had initially refused to appear via the video link, but the hearing was recessed for an hour while his attorney spoke to him. After the hearing reconvened, Adebowale spoke only to confirm his name.

He is also is charged with possession of a revolver "to cause persons to believe that unlawful violence would be used."

Witnesses at the scene said Adebolajo told them he had killed Rigby in retaliation for Muslims killed by British soldiers in Middle East and Asia conflicts.

Eight other people were subsequently arrested in the case. Six have been released on bond.

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