Man appears in London court over soldier's killing

By Laura Smith-Spark and Jonathan Wald, CNN

London (CNN) — A 22-year-old man appeared in court Thursday after he was charged with murder over the death of British soldier Lee Rigby in London last week.
Michael Adebowale, who was flanked by two police officers, spoke to confirm his name, his address and that he was aware of the charges against him.

Adebowale is also charged with unlawful possession of a firearm, a Dutch revolver, the Metropolitan Police said Wednesday.

His hands were cuffed in front of him and he wore a gray long-sleeved shirt and white trousers for the brief appearance at Westminster Magistrates’ Court.

Addressing Adebowale, Chief Magistrate Howard Riddle said that he could sit rather than stand because he was injured.

Adebowale appeared to walk uncomfortably and his right hand was wrapped in what could have been a medical dressing.

He was discharged from a hospital Tuesday and has been held in custody since at a police station.

The magistrate referred Adebowale’s case to a higher court — the Old Bailey in London, also known as the Central Criminal Court — where he will have a bail hearing on June 3 and a further preliminary hearing on June 28.

“There is sufficient evidence to prosecute Michael Adebowale and it is in the public interest to do so,” said Sue Hemming, head of the Crown Prosecution Service’s Special Crime and Counter-Terrorism Division.

A 28-year-old suspect remains under arrest at a London hospital. He has been identified by family, friends and acquaintances as Michael Adebolajo.

The killing of Rigby, who had served as an infantryman in Afghanistan and Cyprus, in the southeast London district of Woolwich shocked people across the United Kingdom.

Two men were shot and injured after armed police were called to the scene May 22.

In all, 10 people have been arrested in connection with the killing. Two were released without charges, while six others have been freed on bail — the most recent a 50-year-old man arrested Monday night on suspicion of conspiracy to murder.

Rigby was married and had a 2-year-old son. His wife, Rebecca Rigby, said last week that he had been planning to visit them so they could discuss their future.

Meanwhile, another woman who said she was Rigby’s fiancee told Britain’s Press Association that she’s “extremely proud” of him and “devastated” by his death.

Aimee West’s comments came in a statement to the news service issued through the Metropolitan Police. While police didn’t relay that statement to CNN, they confirmed that they’d passed on West’s remarks to the Press Association.

“I am moved by all the flowers and tributes, and that he has been remembered by the nation as the great man she was,” West said.

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