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Pair accused of murdering soldier Lee Rigby in Woolwich have charge dropped
Updated 9:21am Wednesday 18th December 2013 in News
THE alleged killers of soldier Lee Rigby no longer face a charge of conspiracy to murder a police officer, a jury has been told.
Michael Adebolajo, aged 29, of Oakwood Close, Lewisham, and Michael Adebowale, 22, of Thames Street, Greenwich, still face counts of murder and attempted murder of a police officer, which they both deny.
Both men are accused of running Fusilier Rigby down in a car and then hacking him to death with a meat cleaver and knives near Woolwich Barracks on May 22.
Mr Justice Sweeney told jurors at the Old Bailey that they were discharged from any further consideration of a count of conspiracy to murder a police officer.
Mr Justice Sweeney told the jury that nothing said by Adebolajo in his evidence amounts in law to a defence to the charge of murder.
He said: "I have ruled that nothing said by the first defendant and... his evidence - in short he was a soldier of Allah and was justified in doing what he did - amounts in law to a defence to this count.
"So nothing that he has said amounts in law to a defence to count one."
He added: "Both defence counsel must and will respect that ruling in their speeches."
In his closing speech, prosecutor Richard Whittam QC said "Islam, one of the world's great religions, is not on trial."
Recounting the events of May 22 and the prosecution's case, Mr Whittam showed the jury once again images of bloodied knives, and also replayed the video clip in which Fusilier Rigby is seen being hit by a Vauxhall Tigra.
"What was the consequence of driving into Lee Rigby?" asked Mr Whittam. "The consequence was it broke his back."
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