British soldier's killer makes appeal bid

LONDON (AFP) - Michael Adebolajo, a Muslim extremist convicted of hacking a British soldier to death on a London street, has applied to appeal against his conviction, the Judicial Office confirmed Thursday.

Adebolajo, 29, and Michael Adebowale, 22, ploughed into Mr Lee Rigby with a car before attacking him with knives in broad daylight outside his barracks in May last year.

Adebolajo tried to behead Mr Rigby with a meat cleaver in front of horrified passers-by.

The pair said they attacked the off-duty, 25-year-old fusilier to avenge the deaths of Muslims at the hands of British troops.

They claimed they were "soldiers of Islam" and therefore justified in their actions.

But judge Nigel Sweeney said that did not amount to a defence in law to the charge of murder.

Adebolajo and Adebowale were found guilty by a jury last month and have yet to be sentenced.

Judge Sweeney is considering a whole-life jail term, which carries little prospect of release, but is awaiting a Court of Appeal ruling.

The European Court of Human Rights last year condemned whole-life terms as a violation of prisoners' rights, causing the Court of Appeal to launch a review. A date has not yet been set for its decision.

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