Salman Rushdie attack suspect pleads not guilty to attempted murder

Salman Rushdie attack suspect pleads not guilty to attempted murder

On Thursday, the suspect in the stabbing of author Salman Rushdie last week in western New York entered a not guilty plea to charges of attempted second-degree murder and assault. As a result, he was detained without bail.

Shortly before Rushdie, 75, was scheduled to give a speech on stage at an educational retreat near Lake Erie, Hadi Matar, 24, is suspected of stabbing him. 

Rushdie was hospitalized with severe injuries, which authors and politicians from all over the globe denounced as an assault on the freedom of speech.

Earlier in the day, a grand jury issued an indictment charging Matar with one crime of second-degree attempted murder, which carries a maximum term of 25 years in prison, and one count of second-degree assault. Matar was arraigned in the Chautauqua County Courthouse on these charges.

He has been detained since his arrest and was outfitted in a gray jumpsuit with gray stripes, a white COVID-19 face mask, and handcuffs.

Judge David Foley granted the request of Matar’s defense attorney to establish a temporary gag order prohibiting the parties from discussing the matter in public while also ordering Matar to have no contact with Rushdie. 

He promised to consider the defendant’s demand for Matar’s release on bond.