It defies belief.

The full extent of British involvement in securing the release of Michael Adebolajo was disclosed for the first time, raising further questions about how much MI5 knew about the alleged murderer.

It also emerged that Adebolajo benefited from the help of British diplomats to avoid a formal deportation after his arrest in Kenya in 2010.

Contrary to previous reports, a Kenyan immigration source told The Daily Telegraph Adebolajo was returned to Britain on an ordinary flight, and not deported, after High Commission officials intervened.

A Kenyan lawyer who represented the 28 year-old suspected of hacking a Drummer Lee Rigby to death in London last week said his client was freed from arrest in the town of Lamu, Kenya, three years ago on the recommendation of the British High Commission.

Wycliffe Makasembo said: “Our own intelligence in Kenya were reluctant to release him, but it is the British High Commission which recommended that the suspect be released.

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