HomeWORLDSalman Rushdie's Attacker Pleads Not Guilty

Salman Rushdie’s Attacker Pleads Not Guilty

Hadi Matar, accused of stabbing Salman Rushdie on Thursday pleaded not guilty at a court hearing in upstate New York. He was accused of attempted murder and racked up assualt charges.

The 24-year old was indicted in front of a grand jury after allegedly stabbing Salman Rushdie repeatedly in the abdomen and neck at a book event last Friday, leaving the British author in critical condition.

The judge ordered Matar remain detained without bail. Following the attack, Rushdie was airlifted to a nearby hospital for emergency surgery.

The award winning author was under constant threat after Iranian leaders called for his death due to his portrayal of Islam and the Prophet Mohammed in his 1988 novel “The Satanic Verses.”

Matar’s lawyer, public defender Nathaniel Barone, insisted on the presumption of innocence until proven guilty. The New York Post published an interview with Matar this week where he said he was “surprised” that Rushdie had survived the attack.

“I don’t like the person. I don’t think he’s a very good person,” he said of the author. “I don’t like him. I don’t like him very much.”

Judge David Foley agreed to the defense’s request to issue a temporary gag order, which bars the parties from discussing the case in interviews with the press.

Iran this week denied any link with Rushdie’s attacker but blamed the writer himself for “insulting” Islam in “The Satanic Verses.”

“By insulting the sacred matters of Islam… Salman Rushdie has exposed himself to the anger and rage of the people,” said Iranian Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanani said.

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