Prison officials “strongly deny any wrongdoing” after Michael Adebolajo, a suspect in the gruesome beheading of a soldier in Britain, lost two teeth while being restrained during a prison brawl, the U.K. Guardian reports.
Adebolajo is currently being held at the high security Belmarsh prison in London, where he awaits trial in the death of Lee Rigby.
Sky News sources say Adebolajo claims to have been assaulted, but details on what exactly transpired remain unclear. The news outlet received confirmation from the Metropolitan Police that an “allegation of assault” was lodged.
The Prison Officers’ Association (POA), however, has lashed out at the Ministry of Justice, saying it has done “little to avoid sensationalist reporting” on the matter.
“Our members strenuously deny any wrongdoing and the POA will be supporting them legally and emotionally during this difficult time. The use of restraint is only used where necessary when dealing with incidents up and down the country,” it said in a statement.
The Metropolitan police have launched an investigation into the incident, and say it would be “inappropriate” to comment at this time.
Adebolajo is one of two men charged with the murder of Rigby, who was hacked to death in broad daylight in the Woolwich area of London in May. The other is 22-year-old Michael Adebowale.
But “Adebolajo faces further charges related to the attempted murder of two police officers and possession of a firearm with intent to cause others to believe that violence would be used,” the U.K. Guardian writes.
In the wake of the attack, one of the suspects declared: “We swear by almighty Allah we will never stop fighting you until you leave us alone. Your people will never be safe. The only reason we have done this is because Muslims are dying by British soldiers every day.”
Rigby’s funeral was attended by thousands, including British Prime Minister David Cameron.