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Woolwich attack: Michael Adebowale appears in court charged with murder of soldier Lee Rigby

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A police van carrying Michael Adebowale arrives at Westminster Magistrates Court in London

A police van carrying Michael Adebowale arrives at Westminster Magistrates Court in London

Reuters

Michael Adebowale has been charged with the murder of soldier Lee Rigby in Woolwich.

Michael Adebowale has been charged with the murder of soldier Lee Rigby in Woolwich.

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A police van carrying Michael Adebowale arrives at Westminster Magistrates Court in London

Michael Adebowale, one of the suspects in the murder of soldier Lee Rigby, today appeared in court in handcuffs.

The 22-year-old was flanked by police officers as he sat in the dock at Westminster Magistrates Court dressed in a green sweat shirt and white baggy trousers.

The decision to bring the Muslim convert into court wearing handcuffs was made following an application by prosecutors.

Adebowale, of Greenwich, south east London, who appeared to have a bandage on one hand, walked into court without apparent difficulty.

During the brief hearing amid tight security, Adebowale answered "yes" when asked to confirm his name, date of birth and address.

He is charged with a single count of murdering Drummer Rigby in Woolwich, south east London, last Wednesday and a second count of possession of a firearm.

He was told the nature of the charges against him meant his case would be treated as alleged terrorism offences.

He will appear in court again in Monday ahead of an appearance at the Old Bailey on 29 June.

Adebowale, 22, was shot by armed police after the British army soldier was hacked to death outside the Woolwich barracks last week.

The Metropolitan Police Service's Counter Terrorism Command said last night they have been authorised to charge him with the murder of Drummer Rigby.

Sue Hemming, head of the CPS Special Crime and Counter-Terrorism Division, said: "Crown prosecutors have been working with the investigators of Counter Terrorism Command since the killing of Drummer Lee Rigby on 22 May.

"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.

"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.

Michael Adebolajo, 28, was also shot in the incident in south-east London - he remains in hospital.

A number of other suspects have been arrested during the course of the week.

In a statement issued through Scotland Yard the fiancee of Drummer Rigby said she was "devastated" by his loss and has been moved by all the tributes to a "great man".

A minutes silence was held in Woolwich yesterday at 14.20 BST exactly a week after the incident.

Police have so far arrested eight other people in connection with the investigation. Six have been bailed and two released without charge.

Independent News Service