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2nd man appears in London court over soldier's killing

By Jethro Mullen and Laura Perez Maestro, CNN
updated 6:31 AM EDT, Mon June 3, 2013
British soldier Lee Rigby was killed last month in broad daylight on a London street.
British soldier Lee Rigby was killed last month in broad daylight on a London street.
STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • NEW: The hearing lasts 10 minutes
  • Michael Adebolajo, 28, has been charged with the murder of a British soldier
  • Adebolajo also faces charges of the attempted murder of two police officers
  • British PM to head task force to tackle radicalization

London (CNN) -- A 28-year-old man appeared in court Monday after he became the second person to be charged with murder over the death of British soldier Lee Rigby last month on a London street.

Michael Adebolajo was dressed in white, had a cast on his left arm and carried a Quran during his 10-minute appearance before Westminster Magistrate's Court.

He spoke to confirm his name and that he was aware of the charges against him. But he kept interrupting the proceedings.

He is also charged with attempted murder of two police officers and possession of a firearm.

Adebolajo's case was referred to a higher court -- the Old Bailey in London, also known as the Central Criminal Court. He is due to have a bail hearing there within 48 hours.

The other man charged with murder in the case, Michael Adebowale, 22, appeared in court last week.

Police said Rigby was killed in a daylight attack a couple of hundred yards away from the Royal Artillery Barracks in the southeast London district of Woolwich on May 22.

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Adebolajo and Adebowale were hospitalized after the attack. Both were released from the hospital into police custody last week.

Adebowale's case has also been referred to the Old Bailey in London.

The killing has sparked an intense investigation by police. They announced two other arrests in the case Friday, of men seized on suspicion of supplying illegal firearms. Authorities also moved a man arrested on the suspicion of killing Rigby from a hospital to a police station.

The charges against Adebolajo follow news of an inquest into Rigby's death. The inquest opened Friday at Southwark Coroner's Court and was quickly adjourned.

Detective Chief Inspector Grant Mallon, the senior investigating officer into the death, said two men were incapacitated and detained at the scene of Rigby's death.

In all, 12 people have been arrested, including Adebolajo and Adebowale, in connection with the killing.

• Two men, ages 42 and 46, have been taken to a south London police station. One was arrested Friday in north London and the other in east London on suspicion of supplying illegal firearms.

• Six others have been freed on bail, the most recent a 50-year-old man arrested last week on suspicion of conspiracy to murder.

• Two were released without charges.

Separately, a man who was arrested after he spoke in an interview about Adebolajo on BBC's "Newsnight" has been charged with two counts of dissemination of terrorist publications and one count of encouragement of terrorism. He is Ibrahim Abdullah-Hassan, also known as Abu Nusaybah. The charges are not connected to the Rigby murder investigation, police said.

The killing of Rigby, who had served as an infantryman in Afghanistan and Cyprus, shocked people across the United Kingdom. He was married and had a 2-year-old son.

On Monday, the British government announced that the Prime Minister David Cameron will lead a task force to tackle extremism -- a result of the Rigby killing.

The task force will monitor radicalization in religious and educational institutions and challenge "poisonous narratives," the announcement said.

CNN's Laura Perez Maestro reported from London; and Jethro Mullen wrote from Hong Kong

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