Questioned on Wednesday by the New York Postsuspect Hadi Matar said to himself “surprisedthat Salman Rushdie survived the attack.
The suspect in the attack on Salman Rushdie pleaded not guilty Thursday (August 18) to attempted murder and assault in a court in Mayville, New York.
Hadi Matar, 24, had stabbed Salman Rushdie, the author ofsatanic versesduring a conference Friday August 12 in the nearby town of Chautauqua. Arrested immediately after the fact, the suspect had already pleaded not guilty during a procedural hearing on Saturday. Head lowered, masked, handcuffed and dressed in a prisoner’s outfit with black and white stripes, Hadi Matar spoke on Thursday August 18 through the voice of his lawyer. The judge chose to keep the suspect in custody, without bail. At the previous hearing, prosecutors called the attack premeditated. His lawyer Nathaniel Barone stressed Thursday that his client was entitled to a “fair trial» and respect for «presumption of innocence“.
SEE ALSO – Assault on Salman Rushdie: Iran deniescategorically» any connection with the assailant
Questioned on Wednesday by the New York Postwho claims to have contacted him in prison, Hadi Matar said to himself “surprisedthat Salman Rushdie survived the attack. The 75-year-old British author, stabbed a dozen times and evacuated by helicopter to a hospital, was briefly placed on a ventilator before his condition improved. Hadi Matar did not say whether he was inspired by the fatwa issued by Ayatollah Khomeini in 1989 from Iran, calling for the death of the writer, his book “satanic verseshaving been deemed blasphemous. He had just explained to the New York Post have “esteem for the ayatollah“.
“I don’t like this person. I don’t think he’s a good man“, had launched the suspect to the tabloid about the intellectual. “He is someone who attacked Islam“, he added. Watching videos of the author on YouTube, he found it “hypocritical“, he continued. Hadi Matar had returnedexchange» and more religious from a trip in 2018 to Lebanon, the country of origin of his family, his mother said on Monday to the website of the Daily mail.
Ayatollah Khomeini, founder of the Islamic Republic of Iran, issued a fatwa in 1989 calling for the murder of Salman Rushdie, who had lived for years under police protection. Ayatollah Khomeini’s fatwa against the writer was never lifted and many of his translators came under attack. After three days of silence, Iran on Monday denied any involvement in the attack, blaming Salman Rushdie himself. “In this attack, only Salman Rushdie and his supporters deserve blame and even condemnation“, judged Nasser Kanani, spokesman for the Iranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
Salman Rushdie, who had lived in New York for twenty years, had become a US citizen in 2016. Despite the threat, he had appeared more and more frequently in public, often without a visible escort, while continuing to defend in his books satire and irreverence. In an interview given to the German magazine Back a few days before Friday’s attack, he had said to himself “optimistic“and had confided:”Since I live in the United States, I have no more problems (…) My life is back to normal.Hadi Matar is due to appear in court again on September 7.