Prosecutor offers extra particulars in court docket about Salman Rushdie’s wounds as stabbing suspect pleads not responsible

CNN ) Renowned writer Salman Rushdie stays hospitalized after being stabbed repeatedly throughout an assault on stage in western New York that left him at risk of shedding a watch, a prosecutor mentioned throughout his trial Saturday.

The 75-year-old award-winning writer – whose many years of writing have introduced him demise threats – was getting ready to provide a lecture on the Chautauqua Institution on Friday when a person jumped on stage and stabbed Rushdie in a number of locations, together with the neck and abdomen.

Staff and visitors then rushed the stage and held the suspect, recognized as 24-year-old Hadi Matar, of Fairview, New Jersey, down earlier than a state trooper assigned to the occasion took him into custody, in accordance with New York State Police .

Chautauqua County District Attorney Jason Schmidt laid out the main points of Rushdie’s accidents in court docket throughout Matar’s arraignment Saturday afternoon.

The writer’s accidents embrace three stab wounds to the proper aspect of the entrance of his neck, 4 stab wounds to the stomach, stab wounds to the proper eye and chest and a laceration to the proper thigh, in accordance with the county prosecutor.

Rushdie was flown to a hospital after the assault and underwent surgical procedure, police mentioned. The writer could find yourself shedding his proper eye, Schmidt mentioned.

The writer started talking once more on Saturday after earlier being placed on a ventilator, his agent Andrew Wylie advised the New York Times, including that the assault left Rushdie with liver and nerve harm.

Another speaker on the occasion, 73-year-old Ralph Henry Reese, suffered a minor head harm through the assault. He was taken to hospital in an ambulance and later launched with a facial harm.

The suspect has pleaded not responsible

Matar pleaded not responsible to expenses of second-degree try and second-degree assault with intent to trigger bodily hurt with a lethal weapon, his public defender, Nathaniel Barone, advised CNN on Saturday.

The legal professional mentioned Matar has been “very cooperative” and communicated brazenly, however he didn’t talk about what was mentioned throughout these conversations.

Matar was denied bail and remanded within the Chautauqua County Jail. His subsequent court docket look is Friday.

He faces as much as 32 years if convicted of each expenses, Schmidt mentioned.

The FBI is now working with native and worldwide authorities to analyze the assault on the Chautauqua Institution, which occurred in entrance of an viewers as Rushdie was being launched.

One witness, Joyce Lussier, was sitting within the second row when she noticed a person leap throughout the stage and lunge at Rushdie. She heard individuals screaming and crying, she advised CNN, and noticed individuals from the viewers working onto the stage.

Another witness, Stephen Davies, who captured video of the moments simply after Rushdie was attacked, mentioned he couldn’t see if the attacker had a knife in his hand.

“He lunged at Mr Rushdie and started punching him very quickly,” Davies mentioned. “I was completely shocked and appalled.”

Authorities haven’t disclosed the particular form of weapon utilized in the assault.

The suspect had a cross to the occasion and is now dealing with questions on his safety procedures

Hadi Matar, 24, arrives for an arraignment on the Chautauqua County Courthouse in Mayville, New York, Saturday, Aug. 13, 2022.

The suspect arrived in Chautauqua at the least a day earlier than the occasion and purchased a cross to the occasion two days earlier than, Schmidt mentioned throughout Matar’s listening to.

Matar traveled to Chautauqua by bus and had money, pay as you go Visa playing cards and pretend identification with him, mentioned Schmidt, who referred to as the stabbing a “targeted, pre-planned, unprovoked attack on Mr. Rushdie.”

There have been no safety screenings or steel detectors on the occasion, a particular person who witnessed the assault advised CNN. The witness just isn’t being recognized as a result of they expressed concern for his or her private security.

This has raised questions on the safety measures on the host establishment.

The establishment’s management had rejected suggestions for fundamental safety measures, together with bag checks and steel detectors, out of concern that it might create a divide between audio system and the viewers, in accordance with two sources who spoke to CNN on situation of anonymity as a result of they have been not licensed to converse in public .

Institution president Michael Hill defended his group’s safety plans when requested throughout a information convention Friday if there could be extra precautions at future occasions.

“We assess for each event what we think the appropriate level of security is, and this was certainly one that we thought was important, and that’s why we had a state trooper and sheriff present there,” Hill mentioned. “We will assess for each of the events at the facility what we believe the appropriate level of security is, and it’s an ongoing process that we work with local law enforcement on.”

Matar – who authorities say has no documented legal historical past – was described as a quiet particular person who principally stored to himself. CNN spoke solely with State of Fitness Boxing Club proprietor Desmond Boyle, who mentioned Matar signed up on the fitness center in North Bergen, New Jersey in April.

“You know that ‘this is the worst day of your life’ look? He came like that every day,” Boyle advised CNN on Saturday.

As the investigation continued, police have been seen Friday night time on the New Jersey dwelling believed to be related to the suspect.

Rushdie had a bounty on his head

Rushdie’s writings have gained him a number of literary awards, however it was his fourth novel, The Satanic Verses, that attracted essentially the most consideration when some Muslims discovered the ebook blasphemous. The ebook, which sparked demonstrations, was banned in a number of nations.

The late Iranian chief Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini, who described the ebook as an insult to Islam and the Prophet Mohammed, issued a spiritual decree, or fatwa, calling for Rushdie’s demise in 1989.

As a outcome, Rushdie started a decade underneath British safety.

The bounty towards Rushdie has by no means been lifted, though in 1998 the Iranian authorities tried to distance itself from the fatwa by promising not to hunt to implement it.

However, in 2017 Iran’s Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei was requested if “the fatwa against Rushdie was still in effect” and he confirmed that it was, saying: “The decree is as issued by Imam Khomeini.”

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