It didn’t take long for a British jury to decide on guilt for Michael Adebolajo and Michael Adebowale, but then again, neither defendant denied murdering and nearly beheading Lee Rigby. Both pleaded not guilty, but claimed that the horrendous murder — which took 13 minutes to complete — was an act of war, not a crime. The jury felt differently:
Two British Muslim converts were convicted Thursday of hacking a soldier to death in broad daylight on a London street.
Michael Adebolajo, 29, and Michael Adebowale, 22, struck Fusilier Lee Rigby with a car and then attacked his unconscious body with knives and a meat cleaver, trying to behead him. …
The two British citizens had denied murder, with Adebolajo saying the killing was part of a war for Allah in response to Western wars in nations such as Iraq and Afghanistan. The crime was witnessed by onlookers and captured on video.
They then dragged his corpse into the middle of the road where Adebolajo asked a bystander to video them, with their hands covered blood, as he calmly explained what he had done.
“We swear by almighty Allah we will never stop fighting you. The only reason we’ve killed this man today is because Muslims are dying daily by British soldiers,” Adebolajo told the camera.
Their attorneys did their best to provide the defense their clients wanted, but that resulted in absurdities such as these:
Lawyer David Gottlieb referred to his client Adebolajo by his adopted Islamic name, Mujahid Abu Hamza, describing him as intelligent, totally sincere in his beliefs and as someone who has shown “absolute honesty and moral conviction.”
Actually, it was the jury that provided an absolutely honest and moral conviction — of his client. Next up is Adebowale’s attorney, who demanded that jurors set aside their prejudice before deciding on the fate of a man who, er, butchered a man on the street for being British:
He echoed Adebolajo’s testimony regarding their intent. When he was asked earlier this month what his defense to the charge of murder was, Adebolajo said: “I am a soldier. I am a soldier of Allah.”
No, not really. He’s a terrorist, a butcher, and a murderer, as the jury found. Sentencing takes place next month, and I suspect that what Adebolajo and his buddy Adebowale will be for the rest of their lives will be long-forgotten prisoners.