One of the killers of Lee Rigby is looked up to by other inmates and has played a part in converting some of them to Islam, a judge has heard.
The details have emerged as part of Michael Adebolajo’s legal action against the Ministry of Justice. He claims he was injured by prison officers during an incident in a cell in July 2013 while he was awaiting trial and is seeking compensation.
Mr Justice Langstaff oversaw a preliminary hearing in the case at the High Court in London on Tuesday.
Lawyers representing the Ministry of Justice said prison officers likely to give evidence at any trial could be in danger if their names emerged in media reports, although the judge said any trial was some distance off. The judge made an order barring prison officers involved from being identified.
The lawyers gave the judge detail of the influence Adebolajo had in prison. “He forms relationships easily,” said the judge. “He is charismatic. There is intelligence suggesting that he has had some influence on the conversion to Islam of some individuals. There is a large group of people who look up to Adebolajo.”
Ministry of Justice lawyers told the judge that prison officers were “deeply unhappy” about being involved in legal proceedings.