Woolwich accused: ‘I believe British are decent’

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One of the two men accused of murdering soldier Lee Rigby told the Old Bailey yesterday: “I’m a man, I’m a soldier, I’m a British citizen.”

Appearing via videolink, Michael Adebolajo, 28, interrupted proceedings on several occasions during the bail hearing, telling judge Mr Justice Sweeney: “It’s not about you. This whole trial is about more than that. It’s not about me, even though I played a major part in proceedings.

“Really and truly it’s about the good, honest, decent, hardworking British members of society, whether they be Muslim or non-Muslim. They are the ones that have suffered the most.”

Adebolajo, whose left arm was in a plaster cast after the incident outside Woolwich barracks in south-east London on 22 May, went on: “It’s possible throughout life that people may sometimes smother you and say things about you that are false.

“But as a regular citizen and human being, we have to get over it.

“I believe that the British people are decent. From my experience growing up in my country, only a fraction will wish to slander and lie against me. But the rest would prefer to know the truth, even if the truth came back to bite me on the buttock.”

Wearing a burgundy top with a pink jumper that was only over one arm due to his cast, Adebolajo also complained his privacy had been violated, as he claimed he had had his private parts examined twice ahead of his appearance.

“I’m a man, I’m a soldier, I’m a British citizen,” he said. “And you can’t see my privates.”

Describing the prison officer who had asked to examine him as a “jobsworth”, he added that after the experience: “I cried like a baby, you know, into my sleeve.” He said he had let the 
officer look at him as he had been polite.

The packed courtroom listened as he likened the situation to when someone said “please” when they asked to get past him to reach get to the margarine in a supermarket.

“It could be Flora or Utterly Butterly, you find it hard not to move,” he said.

He also praised Mr Justice Sweeney after he let him have his handcuffs removed, saying “May Allah bless you” three times.

Adebolajo, who is also accused of the attempted murder of two police officers and possession of a firearm with intent to cause others to believe that violence would be used, was reprimanded by the judge for interrupting several times and eventually the videolink was switched off.