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UK police charge London attack suspect with murder

May 30, 2013 16:39 IST

One of two suspects shot by the UK police at the scene of last week's terror attack on a London street in which a British soldier was beheaded has been charged with the murder.

Michael Adebowale, 22, a Londoner of Nigerian descent has been remanded in custody to appear at Westminster Magistrates' Court on Thursday. The second suspect, Michael Adebolajo, 28, remains under arrest at a London hospital.

Drummer Lee Rigby, 25, was stabbed to death in a street attack in Woolwich, south-east London, on May 22.

"Following the release of Michael Adebowale from hospital, we have authorised the police to charge him with the murder of Drummer Rigby.

We have also authorised police to charge him with possession of a firearm, contrary to section 16A of the Firearms Act 1968," said Sue Hemming, head of the Crown Prosecution Service (CPS) Special Crime and Counter-terrorism Division.

"There is sufficient evidence to prosecute Michael Adebowale and it is in the public interest to do so... This man is now charged with serious criminal offences and he has the right to a fair trial. It is extremely important that nothing should be reported which could prejudice this trial," she added.

The CPS said it was continuing to advise police in relation to the other suspects arrested during their investigation into Drummer Rigby's death.

Results of a post-mortem examination released Wednesday found that the soldier died of "multiple incised wounds".

A minute's silence was held in Woolwich just before 14:20 BST on Wednesday -- exactly a week after the event -- followed by spontaneous applause.

Floral tributes also continued to pile up near the Woolwich Barracks murder scene.

"I am devastated by the loss of Lee who was a loving fiance. I am extremely proud of him and I am moved by all the flowers and tributes, and that he has been remembered by the nation as the great man that he was," the soldier's fiancee, Aimee West, said in a statement.

Detectives from Scotland Yard's Counter Terrorism Command said the inquest into Lee Rigby's death would open at Southwark Coroner's Court on Friday.

Police across Britain have arrested eight other people in connection with the investigation so far, six of whom have been bailed and two released without charge.

Image: Police officers stand guard as Michael Adebowale arrives at Westminster Magistrates Court in London on Thursday

Photograph: Stefan Wermuth/Reuters

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