The two men accused of hacking to death British soldier Lee Rigby wanted armed officers to kill them so they could "achieve martyrdom," defense lawyers said during closing arguments at their trial Wednesday.
Defendants Michael Adebowale and Michael Adebolajodo not deny that they ran Rigby over with their car on a London street May 22 and then hacked him to death with knives and a cleaver in front of horrified passersby, according to the BBC
But defense attorney Abbas Lakha emphasized that the pair, who deny murdering Rigby, killed him while acting "as soldiers of Islam.”
Lakha emphasized that “this was a military operation they planned together and their target in that operation was a British soldier, and only a British soldier, no one else," the BBC reported.
He denied that the pair intended to kill police officers responding to the Rigby killing, saying they only brought a gun with them in order to goad police into shooting them to death so they could achieve martyrdom.
David Gottlieb, Adebolajo’s attorney, said that although politicians had depicted his client as a “total monster,” he was actually “the most law-abiding terrorist in the history of this country” because he had paid a parking fine shortly before the Rigby slaying, the Guardian reported
Prosecutor Richard Whittam countered that the jihadist duo sought to wreak “carnage” on British streets and refused to accept the “barbarous reality of their actions.”
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