Lee Rigby trial: Adebowale will not give evidence

Court sketch
Image caption Mr Adebowale's counsel said he was calling no evidence in his client's defence.

The jury at the Lee Rigby murder trial has been told one defendant will not give or call any evidence.

The judge said jurors should not draw adverse inferences about 22-year-old Michael Adebowale's decision not to appear in the witness box.

He and Michael Adebolajo, 29 - who both deny murder - killed Fusilier Rigby in Woolwich, London, in May. Mr Adebolajo has said it was a "military operation".

The Old Bailey trial resumes next week with closing speeches.

'Soldier of Allah'

Abbas Lakha QC, for Mr Adebowale, told the court that he was calling no evidence for his client.

Mr Justice Sweeney told the jurors: "The second defendant has chosen neither to give nor to call any evidence.

"May I direct you straight away that you are not to draw any inference adverse to him from the fact that he has chosen not to give evidence. As I told you at the outset, the law is for me and I give directions about it that you must follow."

The judge said that the trial was moving into its final phases with closing speeches, but he had to deal with further legal matters before the jurors would hear them.

The two men are both also accused of attempting to murder a police officer and conspiracy to murder a police officer.

The prosecution says Mr Adebolajo and Mr Adebowale drove a car into Fusilier Rigby at 30-40mph, before dragging him into the road and attacking him with knives and attempting to decapitate him with a meat cleaver.

On Monday, Mr Adebolajo told the court it was not murder because "I am a soldier of Allah" and "this is a war".

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