Men charged with killing British soldier appear in court on 1st day of trial

Two men accused of killing a British soldier in an attack on a London street that police suspect was orchestrated by Islamic fundamentalists appeared in court on Monday as their trial began.

Lee Rigby was fatally attacked on London street in May; police say suspects linked to Islamic fundamentalism

A picture of victim Drummer Lee Rigby, of the British Army's 2nd Battalion The Royal Regiment of Fusiliers is displayed with flowers left by mourners outside an army barracks near the scene of his killing in Woolwich, southeast London on May 23, 2013. British authorities believe that two men accused of hacking a soldier to death on a London street in revenge for wars in Muslim countries are British of Nigerian descent, a source close to the investigation said Thursday. (Toby Melville/Reuters)

Two men accused of killing a British soldier in an attack on a London street that police suspect was orchestrated by Islamic fundamentalists appeared in court on Monday as their trial began.

Michael Adebolajo, 28, and Michael Adebowale, 22, were shot by police and placed under armed guard in a hospital after the May 22 attack on Lee Rigby, an off-duty soldier who was run over by a car, then stabbed repeatedly while walking back to his military barracks in southeast London.

Nick Griffin, centre chairman of the far-right, British National Party and members of the British Veterans' Group protest outside the Central Criminal Court in London ahead of a court hearing for Michael Adebolajo, 28, and Michael Adebowale, 22, who are charged with murdering British soldier Lee Rigby on a London street in May. (Gareth Fuller/Associated Press)

The two men appeared at London's Old Bailey Court on Monday, as about three dozen activists protested outside the building against violence waged by Islamic fundamentalists.

Adebolajo — who has asked to be known as Mujaahid Abu Hamza in court — wore a black button-down shirt. Adebowale — who has asked to be known as Ismail Ibn Abdullah — wore a cream-colored sweater.

The two have denied killing Rigby and the other charges of attempting to murder a police officer and conspiracy to murder a police officer on or before May 22.

The trial was adjourned until Thursday.

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