Michael Adebowale, one of the two main suspects in the killing of army fusilier Lee Rigby, is to be charged with murder and will appear at Westminster magistrates’ court on Thursday, prosecutors have confirmed.
Mr Adebowale, 22, was shot by armed police who arrived at the scene of the attack near army barracks in Woolwich, southeast London, last week. The suspect was released from hospital two days ago, and has been questioned by Scotland Yard’s counter-terrorism command. A second suspect, 28-year-old Michael Adebolajo, remains in hospital recovering from gunshot wounds.
Sue Hemming, head of the Crown Prosecution Service’s special crime and counter-terrorism division, said Mr Adebowale will be charged with possession of a 9.4mm revolver alongside the murder charge.
“There is sufficient evidence to prosecute Michael Adebowale and it is in the public interest to do so,” Ms Hemming said.
A postmortem examination into Drummer Rigby’s death found that he had died of “multiple incised wounds” after the attack.
Simon Letchford, Metropolitan Police commander, renewed appeals on Wednesday for any witnesses to come forward. “Seven days ago Lee Rigby was murdered in an act of violence that was shocking and horrific,” Mr Letchford said. He explained that the police needed help in their “fast-paced and complex” investigation.
“We need to hear from anyone who may have seen Lee being attacked or who may have any other information that may help,” Mr Letchford said.
He also urged calm and restraint as Londoners come to terms with the murder – which is thought to be the first act of terrorism on the UK mainland since the Underground bombings on July 7 2005.
“This has been a difficult time for everyone in our city,” the commander said. “What is important now is that we, as Londoners, come together.”