Two arrests in the Stephen Lawrence murder case were made last September but could not be reported until now, due to legal restrictions.
Gary Dobson, 35, and David Norris, 34, have been arrested and charged murdering black teenager Lawrence, stabbing him to death at a bus stop in Eltham, southeast London, in 1993. They will stand trial at the Old Bailey later this year.
Dobson was acquitted of Lawrence’s murder in 1996 after a private prosecution brought by the Lawrence family fell apart in court.
The Stephen Lawrence case sparked a public outcry after police failed to prosecute the suspected killers and a report later accused officers of “institutional racism” and incompetence.
Nobody has been convicted of the crime and Scotland Yard detectives have continued to investigate the 18-year-old’s death.
The Appeal Court has now ordered a retrial after quashing Dobson’s acquittal on the basis of new evidence submitted by prosecutors.
A statement from the Crown Prosecution Service said that Dobson and Norris had been charged on 8 September 2010 with Mr Lawrence’s murder.
“The Metropolitan Police Service and the Crown Prosecution Service have worked tirelessly with forensic scientists to review the evidence in this case,” it said.
“A full forensic review was commenced in June 2006. New scientific evidence was found and on that basis the prosecution applied for a retrial.
“Our thoughts at this stage go to Stephen’s family, who have never given up their quest to see justice for Stephen.”
The re-trial of Gary Dobson could not have taken place prior to 2003, when the “double jeopardy” law was changed, meaning that it is now possible to someone to be re-tried for the same crime.
Stephen Lawrence was attacked as he waited at a bus stop with Duwayne Brooks, in 1993. A gang of white youths approached them hurling racist abuse.
The gang attacked Lawrence, stabbing him twice in the torso. The teenager tried to flee but collapsed on the pavement and died soon after.
“The murder of Stephen Lawrence, a young black man of great promise, targeted and killed by a group of white youths just because of the colour of his skin, was indeed a calamitous crime,” the Appeal Court judges said.
Lawrence’s mother Doreen said she was “really pleased” by the latest judgement.
“It has been a long time in coming, but we still have a long way to go. All I can think about is Stephen and that perhaps, somewhere down the line we will finally get justice for him,” she said.