Prosecutors showed jurors graphic videotape of the events surrounding the near decapitation of a British soldier on a London street, as the trial of two men opened on Friday in the suspected Islamic extremist attack.
Michael Adebolajo, 28, and Michael Adebowale, 22, drove their car directly at Lee Rigby of the Royal Regiment of Fusiliers, lifting his body onto the hood and slamming it to the windshield, prosecutor Richard Whittam said.
A panel of 12 jurors was then shown security camera videos and images of the defendants dragging Rigby’s body from the sidewalk to the middle of the road.
The pair did that so that everyone could see the impact of their “barbarous acts,” Whittam said.
“They both attacked the motionless body of Lee Rigby,” he said. “He was repeatedly stabbed and it appears it was Michael Adebolajo, the first defendant, who made a serious and almost successful attempt to decapitate Lee Rigby with multiple blows to his neck made with the meat cleaver.”
Gasps were first heard — and then silence — at London Central Criminal Court as the images played. One video showed Adebolajo agitatedly talking to the camera and saying his actions were revenge for British troops killing people abroad. The video, recorded by a passer-by on a mobile phone, showed the suspect’s bloodied hands holding a cleaver and a knife.
“An eye for an eye, and a tooth for a tooth,” he said repeatedly on the video. “The only reason we’ve killed this man today is because Muslims are dying daily by British soldiers.”
Videos also showed the two suspects rushing at a police car that arrived on the scene, before a dramatic shootout that ended with police subduing the two men.
The two suspects have pleaded not guilty to murder charges.