Rigby Murder Suspect Tells Judge He’s a Soldier at Bail Hearing

A man charged with murdering British serviceman Lee Rigby outside his army barracks in London told a judge at his bail hearing that he is a soldier and complained about his treatment by police.

Michael Adebolajo, 28, is being held in custody ahead of a trial and didn’t ask to be released on bail. During a hearing at London’s Central Criminal Court today, Judge Nigel Sweeney switched off the video link to the prison where Adebolajo is being held because he repeatedly interrupted the proceedings.

“I’m a man, I’m a soldier, I’m a British citizen,” he told the judge.

Adebolajo is one of two men charged with killing Rigby, 25, outside his army barracks in southeast London on May 22 in an attack that police are treating as an act of terrorism. The other, Michael Adebowale, appeared at the same court on June 3 and didn’t seek bail.

Sweeney granted requests for prosecutors to hand over medical documents and that Adebolajo be allowed to appear on the video feed from Belmarsh Prison without handcuffs. He refused an application for Adebolajo to appear in person for the bail hearing.

Flanked by two police officers in protective helmets, Adebolajo made references to “the good, decent, hard-working British members of society, whether Muslim or non-Muslim” and told the judge to “stop trying to stifle the truth.”

He complained that he had been forced to undergo strip searches. When the judge ordered the removal of his handcuffs, Adebolajo said “May Allah bless you.”


Both suspects, who were shot and wounded by police at the scene of the attack in Woolwich, were treated in the hospital before being charged with murder and possession of a revolver. Adebolajo was also charged with the attempted murder of two police officers.

Rigby, who had a 2-year-old son, was a drummer in the 2nd Battalion of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers. A fan of the Manchester United soccer team, he served as a machine gunner in Cyprus and then in 2009 as a member of a fire support group in Helmand province, Afghanistan.

U.K. Home Secretary Theresa May has said that about 500 police officers and counterterrorism investigators are working on the case.

To contact the reporter on this story: Kit Chellel in London at cchellel@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at aaarons@bloomberg.net

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