Woolwich murder accused in court
One of the men accused of murdering solider Lee Rigby asked to be referred to as Mujaahid Abu Hamza when he made first court appearance.
Michael Adebolajo, 28, from Romford in Essex, was appearing at Westminster Magistrates' Court to face various charges. He is accused of murdering Drummer Rigby, 25, near Woolwich barracks in south east London on May 22. Co-accused Michael Adebowale, 22, was at the same court last week and appeared at the Old Bailey on Monday.
Adebolajo is also accused of the attempted murder of two police officers and possession of a firearm, a 9.4mm KNIL model 91 revolver, with intent to cause others to believe that violence would be used. Wearing a white t-shirt and white trousers, Adebolajo blew a kiss to a man in the public gallery, and they both pointed to the sky. His left arm was fully bandaged and he held a copy of the Koran.
As he was asked to stand, Adebolajo did so, but asked: "May I ask why? May I ask why?" When told it is customary to stand, he said: "I want to sit."
Adebolajo, who was referred to as Mujaahid Abu Hamza in court following his request, was charged with the four counts on Saturday, having been discharged from hospital on Friday. He was shot by police on May 22 and spent just over a week in hospital.
After standing when asked to at the end of Monday's short hearing, he asked Deputy Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot: "May I respond to you? You would prefer me not to speak to you. I am only a man. I would like to alleviate the pain if I may?" He then kissed the Koran and raised his arm into the air.
Adebolajo was remanded in custody to appear at the Old Bailey within 48 hours for a bail hearing.
The man who he had gestured to in the public gallery would not speak to journalists when approached outside court.
Adebowale, from Greenwich, south east London, later appeared via video-link at the Old Bailey. He is also accused of murdering Drummer Rigby on May 22, as well as possession of a firearm, a 9.4mm KNIL Model 91 revolver, with intent to cause others to believe that violence would be used.
No application for bail was made during his brief hearing. The judge, Mr Justice Sweeney, told the court the defendant would reappear for a preliminary hearing on June 28, when his case is expected to be joined with that of Adebolajo.