Hadi Matar, the 24-year-old man who attacked acclaimed author, Salman Rushdie, as he prepared to give a talk in western New York, has been indicted by grand jury.
He was indicted on Thursday, 18 August, 2022.
Hadi Matar, of Fairview, New Jersey, is scheduled to appear on the charges at an afternoon court hearing in Chautauqua County. Matar was arrested on 12 August after he rushed the stage at the Chautauqua Institution, stabbing Rushdie multiple times in front of a horrified crowd.
Initial charges were filed the next day, when Matar’s court-appointed lawyer entered a not guilty plea on his behalf. The prosecutor’s office did not immediately release the new charges.
The 75-year-old is getting treatment in a Pennsylvania hospital for severe wounds.
His literary agent, Andrew Wylie, has said Rushdie a damaged liver and severed nerves in an arm, and could lose an eye.
Rushdie’s life has been in jeopardy since 1989 when Iran’s supreme leader at the time, Grand Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, issued an edict demanding his death over his novel “The Satanic Verses,” which was viewed as blasphemous by many Muslims.
A semiofficial Iranian foundation had posted a bounty of over $3 million.
Chautauqua County District Attorney Jason Schmidt called the attack “preplanned.”
The author had just taken the stage at the normally tranquil lakeside retreat for a discussion of protections for writers in exile and freedom of expression when Matar jumped onstage.
Henry Reese, 73, the cofounder of Pittsburgh’s City of Asylum, was onstage with Rushdie and suffered a gash to his forehead, bruising and other minor injuries.