Suspect in Salman Rushdie attack scheduled for trial in Jan, author expected to testify

Salman Rushdie. Photo: Twitter @SalmanRushdie

New York : The man accused of stabbing renowned author Salman Rushdie and another person onstage last year, has been scheduled for trial in January 2024, reported CNN, October 29, 2023, citing the prosecutors.

The accused, Hadi Matar is expected to stand trial on January 8, according to Chautauqua County District Attorney Jason Schmidt.

Adding to this, Schmidt said that the trial could last about two weeks and further said that he plans for Rushdie to testify.

“I’ve already been in touch with representatives of Rushdie to alert him that we anticipated that we would have this trial date so that we can start to prepare for it,” Schmidt said.

Renowned Indian-born British author Salman Rushdie, 75, was stabbed on stage at the Chautauqua Institution while he was giving a lecture on August 12 last year.

Rushdie suffered three stab wounds to his neck, four to his stomach, puncture wounds to his right eye and chest, and a cut on his right thigh, Schmidt said.

Rushdie was blinded in the eye and the attack also affected the use of one of his hands, according to CNN.

Soon after the attack, he was rushed to a hospital in northwestern Pennsylvania and underwent surgery. He also suffered a damaged liver and severed nerves in an arm and an eye, reported Fox News.

Earlier, he endured death threats after his 1988 novel “The Satanic Verses” which angered many Muslims, who considered it sacrilegious. The late Iranian leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini called for his death and Rushdie spent a decade under British protection, reported CNN.

However, Hadi Matar, then 24, the man accused of stabbing renowned author Salman Rushdie on stage in New York, pleaded not guilty to charges of attempted murder and assault.

A judge ordered him held without bail, reported CNN.

“He’s maintained his innocence on the matter,” said Matar’s attorney, Nathaniel Barone, adding, “The one thing I’ve stressed throughout this is, everyone is entitled to their day in court, and there’s the presumption of innocence that’s the most important constitutional right that we can have, any one of us.”

Barone further said that they are “looking forward” to trying this case. “I think it gives us an opportunity to move forward.”



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