Salman Rushdie: Man charged in US court with stabbing author

The suspected stabber of Sir Salman Rushdie is due to appear in court in the United States.

The grand jury has indicted Hadi Matar, who allegedly assaulted 75-year-old Sir Salman as the renowned author was preparing to give a lecture in upstate New York on August 12.

Matar, 24, of Fairview, New Jersey, is scheduled to appear in Chautauqua County Court for an afternoon hearing with defense attorney Nathaniel Barone.


Sir Salman Rushdie, author of The Satanic Verses (Adam Butler/PA)

Matar was arrested after he allegedly stormed the stage at the Chautauqua Institution and stabbed Sir Salman several times in front of a crowd.

Charges began the next day when Matar’s court-appointed attorney entered a not-guilty plea on his behalf. Prosecutors did not immediately release the new charges.

Sir Salman is being treated at a Pennsylvania hospital for serious injuries and has maintained his “usual lively and defiant sense of humor” despite “life-changing” injuries, his family previously said.

His literary agent, Andrew Wylie, said Sir Salman had a damaged liver and severed nerves in one arm and could lose an eye. He was weaned off a ventilator on Saturday.

Sir Salman’s life has been in danger since 1989, when Iran’s then supreme leader, Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, issued an edict demanding his death over his novel The Satanic Verses, considered blasphemous by many Muslims.

A semi-official Iranian foundation had put up a bounty of more than $3 million (£2.5 million).

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Chautauqua District Attorney Jason Schmidt called the attack “pre-planned.”

The author had just taken the stage at the Lakeside Retreat to discuss protection of exiled writers and freedom of expression when the incident occurred.

Henry Reese, 73, the co-founder of Pittsburgh’s City of Asylum, shared the stage with Sir Salman and suffered a laceration to the forehead, bruising and other minor injuries. Salman Rushdie: Man charged in US court with stabbing author

Fry Electronics Team

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