Murder charge for London attacker

Michael Adebolajo holds a knife and cleaver after the attack. Photo / AP
Michael Adebolajo holds a knife and cleaver after the attack. Photo / AP

British police have charged one of the two chief suspects in last week's brutal slaying of a British soldier on a London street .

Metropolitan Police confirmed they had charged Michael Adebowale, 22, with the murder of 25-year-old Lee Rigby, who died in the May 22 attack in Woolwich, southeast London.

"Detectives from the Metropolitan Police Service's Counter Terrorism Command have ... charged a man with the murder of Drummer Lee Rigby in Woolwich on Wednesday 22 May," said the police statement.

"Michael Adebowale, 22, of Greenwich, was charged with the murder of Lee Rigby contrary to common law.

"He was also charged with possession of a firearm," it added.

Adebowale is still in custody and will appear at Westminster Magistrate's Court on Thursday morning. He was discharged from a hospital on Tuesday.

The other suspect, 28-year-old Michael Adebolajo, remains under guard at a London hospital, police added.

Both suspects required hospital treatment after being shot and injured by police at the murder scene last week.

An autopsy showed that Rigby died from multiple cuts and stab wounds after he was first struck by a blue Vauxhall Tigra, police said.

Images that emerged in the attack's aftermath showed two men wielding knives and meat cleavers. Police said the autopsy showed Rigby died from "multiple incised wounds".

With a cause of death established, police say an inquest on Rigby's death will open on Friday at Southwark Coroner's Court. In Britain, inquests are conducted to establish the circumstances surrounding unexpected or violent deaths.

Police asked members of the public to come forward with any information about the case and urged anyone with photos or videos related to the slaying to send them to police on a confidential basis.

London counterterrorism police officers handed out leaflets Wednesday seeking information from pedestrians and bus passengers in a quest for new information.

-AFP

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