UK
22/07/2013 18:35 BST | Updated 22/07/2013 18:39 BST

'Mosque Bomb' Terror Suspect Pavlo Lapshyn Charged With Murder Of Mohammed Saleem

A 25-year-old Ukrainian man has been charged with murdering an 75-year-old grandfather as he walked home from a mosque, police have said.

West Midlands Police said it had charged Pavlo Lapshyn, a post graduate student from Dnipropetrovsk, with the killing of Mohammed Saleem in Birmingham in April and he will now appear before Westminster Magistrates' Court on Tuesday.

mohammed saleem

Mohammed Saleem was stabbed just yards from his home in Birmingham

Lapshyn was initially arrested last week by officers carrying out a counter terrorism investigation into three separate explosions near mosques in Walsall, Wolverhampton and Tipton, and is still being questioned in connection with that inquiry.

The student, who had been in the UK on a sponsored work placement at a software firm based in the Small Heath area of Birmingham, was arrested on suspicion of murder on 20 July.

Mr Saleem was fatally stabbed just yards from his house as he walked home alone after worship.

The police said they did not believe there was any "on-going threat from this case" but added officers were working with the Ukrainian authorities to look into Lashyn's past history and were planning to send counter terrorism investigators to the country in the next few days.

Assistant Chief Constable Marcus Beale, of West Midlands Police, said: "We are still working hard to uncover all the facts and urge anyone who thinks they have information that may assist us to call 101.

"We understand that these incidents have caused a great deal of anxiety and distress within local communities and I want to thank them for the way they have dealt with the developments and the assistance they have given my officers.

"For the family who lost a beloved grandfather it has been a particularly difficult time and we will continue to support them."

Louise Gray, a lawyer in the Crown Prosecution Service Counter Terrorism Division, said: "Following an investigation by West Midlands Counter Terrorism Unit, I have been considering the evidence gathered from the inquiry into the murder of Mohammed Saleem.

"I have concluded that there is sufficient evidence and it is in the public interest to charge Pavlo Lapshyn with one count of murder.

"This decision was taken in accordance with the Code for Crown Prosecutors.

"Pavlo Lapshyn now stands charged with a criminal offence and has the right to a fair trial.

"It is very important that nothing should now be reported that could prejudice that trial."

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