Woolwich murder suspects remanded in custody

Police van carrying Michael Adebolajo arrives at court
Image caption Michael Adebolajo was appearing at Westminster Magistrates' Court

The two men accused of murdering soldier Lee Rigby have both been remanded in custody after making separate court appearances.

Michael Adebolajo, 28, appeared before Westminster magistrates holding a copy of the Koran and stating he wished to be known as Mujahid Abu Hamza.

He was remanded in custody to appear at the Old Bailey within 48 hours.

Michael Adebowale, 22, appeared at the Old Bailey via video link and will next come before the same court on 28 June.

The pair, accused of Drummer Rigby's murder on 22 May, were both shot by police before they were arrested.

Blew a kiss

Mr Adebolajo, from Romford, east London, was charged after spending nine days in hospital.

He was also charged with the attempted murder of two police officers and possession of a firearm, a 9.4mm KNIL Model 91 revolver.

Image caption Michael Adebolajo blew a kiss to his brother during the hearing

Flanked by two plain-clothes police officers and a prison guard, Mr Adebolajo appeared in court on Monday with his lower left arm in a cast.

He was wearing a white t-shirt and white trousers and blew a kiss to his brother, Jeremiah Adebolajo, in the public gallery before both pointed to the sky.

Michael Adebolajo told the bench he wanted to be known as Mujahid Abu Hamza, and his barrister referred to him by that name.

When he was asked to stand, he said: "May I ask why? May I ask why?" When told it was customary, he replied: "I want to sit."

At the end of the hearing, he told Deputy Chief Magistrate Emma Arbuthnot: "I would like to alleviate the pain, if I may."

He then kissed the Koran and raised his arm into the air.

Bail hearing

Mr Adebowale, of Greenwich, south-east London, who spent six days in hospital, was remanded in custody by Westminster Magistrates' Court last Thursday.

He also faces the same firearms charge as Mr Adebolajo.

Image caption Michael Adebowale was sketched at an earlier court hearing on May 30

During the hearing on Monday, at which he appeared via video link from Belmarsh Prison, he spoke only to confirm his name.

Meanwhile, the prime minister has made the first Commons statement about the killing as MPs return from their half-term break.

He told MPs it was important to learn lessons from what happened in Woolwich and spoke of the need to dismantle the process of radicalisation of young people in schools, universities, on the internet and in prisons.

Earlier he chaired a new task force, set up in the wake of the attack, to bring together cabinet minister and intelligence and police chiefs.

He said it would ask "serious questions" including whether rules for charities were too lax and allowed extremists to prosper, whether enough was being done to disrupt groups that incite hatred, and the problem of extremist groups in universities.

After the meeting, Downing Street said Mr Cameron had asked the Education Secretary Michael Gove to examine arrangements for confronting extreme views in schools, Business Secretary Vince Cable to monitor universities and Justice Secretary Chris Grayling to do the same in prisons.

The task force would meet once a month, Downing Street added.

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