Salman Rushdie stabbing: Suspect Hadi Mather pleads not guilty to attempted murder and assault

Hadi Mather, 24, of New Jersey, made the plea in a courtroom in Chautauqua County, New York, after prosecutors said a grand jury indicted him this week.

A judge ordered Mather held without bail and said he must surrender any firearms. Mather, who was handcuffed, masked and wearing a striped prison uniform, said a slight “yes” once to acquiesce the judge.

A lawyer told the court that the charge of attempted murder in connection with the attack on Rushdie carries a prison sentence of up to 25 years if the defendant is convicted. The lawyer said the assault charge related to the other speaker’s injuries would carry up to seven years.

Rushdie — who received death threats for his 1988 satirical novel.Satanic Verses,” which some Muslims consider sacred — was to deliver a lecture on August 12. Chautauqua Company An assailant jumped on stage and stabbed him several times.

The 75-year-old author suffered three stab wounds to the neck, four stab wounds to the abdomen, puncture wounds to the right eye and chest and a laceration to his right thigh, Chautauqua County District Attorney Jason Schmidt said late last week. The district attorney then said that Rushti would lose sight in his right eye.

Another speaker at the event, Ralph Henry Reese, was injured in the attack, police said. He was taken to hospital by ambulance and released with facial injuries.

Till Monday, Rushdie was hospitalized Vigilant and “transparent” in his conversations with investigators.A law enforcement official with direct knowledge of the investigation told CNN.

Authorities have not released a motive for the attack.

A grand jury indicted Mather, the district attorney’s office and his defense attorney said earlier Thursday. Mather had He pleaded not guilty to the initial charges late last week.
Haddie Mather, center, appeared in court Thursday in Chautauqua County, New York.

Prosecutor: Mather had knives and false identification

On the morning of August 12, according to New York State Police, Matter jumped on stage at the Chautauqua Institution, about 70 miles southwest of Buffalo, New York, lunged at Rushdie, and stabbed him repeatedly. Bystanders and employees restrained the suspect and pushed him to the ground until he was arrested by state troopers.

Comment: Salman Rushdie risked his life for decades;  America must also stand up against censorship

In court Thursday, a prosecutor said Matar traveled to Chautauqua with several knives, false identification, cash and prepaid Visa cards.

Authorities believe Mather, who lived in Fairview, New Jersey, traveled to Buffalo by bus and used a ride-sharing app to reach Chautauqua the day before the attack. A law enforcement official familiar with the investigation who spoke to CNN this week.

Investigators did not immediately know where Mattar spent the night, the official added. When arrested, Mather had a fake driver’s license, some cash, two Visa prepaid gift cards and no wallet, the officer said.

Mather’s mother said Daily Mail Her son was outgoing and raised in America for a story published this week. But after taking a month-long trip to the Middle East in 2018, Mather returned as a “mood introvert,” said her mother Silvana Furdos.

Furdos told the Daily Mail that he did not know about the stabbing until the FBI raided his home in Fairview, New Jersey.

A religious order for Rushti’s death

After that Rushdie lived in hiding “The Satanic Verses” Published. The late Iranian leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini described the book as insulting to Islam and the Prophet of the Faith, Muhammad. He issued a religious edict, or fatwa, in 1989 calling for Rushdie’s death.
How Iran Used Rushdie's Satanic Verses

In 1998, the Iranian government tried to distance itself from the fatwa by promising not to seek to implement it. Nevertheless, Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei reaffirmed the religious mandate.

In February 2017, on Khamenei’s official website, the supreme leader was asked if the “fatwa against Rushdie is still in effect”. Khamenei confirmed it, “The order is as if issued by Imam Khomeini.”

Monday, the Iranian government He denied any connection with the stabbing.

“We categorically and vehemently deny that the attacker has any connection with Iran,” said Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Khanani.

“We do not consider anyone worthy of blame and condemnation except (Rushti) and his supporters.”

The United States condemned the Iranian government’s statement

The US State Department condemned Iran’s stance, calling the comments “abhorrent” and “abhorrent”.

Iran has accused Salman Rushdie and supporters of stabbing him

“It’s no secret that the Iranian regime has been the focus of threats against his life for years,” State Department spokesman Ned Price said.

He said Iran’s “glee” over the attack was “absolutely outrageous”.

“We want it to be clear that this is not something we can tolerate,” Price said.

'Buy a book:' Salman Rushdie interviewer suggests way to support injured writer

Rushdie began living under British protection after Iran issued a fatwa calling for his death.

On Monday, UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson said he was shocked by the attack on Rushdie, a British citizen.

“Appalled to see Sir Salman Rushdie stabbed while exercising a right,” Johnson tweeted. “My thoughts are with his loved ones right now.”

CNN’s Mark Morales and Alex Stambaugh contributed to this report.

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