- Author Salman Rushdie was stabbed 10 times on Friday in what prosecutors called a premeditated attack.
- The suspect, 24-year-old Hadi Matar, pleaded not guilty to the crime, including attempted murder, on Saturday.
- Rushdie’s book The Satanic Verses caused controversy after its publication in 1988.
Hadi Matar, the 24-year-old man who was stabbed to death by author Salman Rushdie on Friday, pleaded not guilty to attempted murder and assault with a weapon at his trial on Saturday.
Rushdie was stabbed 10 times on Friday in what prosecutors said was a premeditated and targeted attack, The New York Times reported.
The 75-year-old writer’s injuries included three stab wounds to his neck and four to his abdomen, stab wounds to his right eye and chest, and a laceration to his right thigh, Chauqua County District Attorney Jason Schmidt told CNN at the time. File a lawsuit.
On Friday, Rushdie’s agent, Andrew Wylie, told the New York Times: “The news is not good. Salman may lose an eye. Nerves in his arm have been severed, and his liver has been stabbed.”
Matar, a New Jersey resident and US citizen, was carrying two fake IDs when he was arrested, The New York Times reported. He was represented by a public defender and was denied bail after pleading not guilty.
According to CNN, Mattar did not speak during the arraignment, although his attorney said he was “cooperating.” Matar’s next court date is August 19 at 3 p.m.
President Joe Biden issued a statement on Saturday; He and First Lady Jill said they were “shocked and saddened” by the “horrific” attack.
“Salman Rushdie—through his understanding of humanity, his unparalleled sense of history, his refusal to intimidate or shut down—stands for important universal ideals,” Biden’s statement read. “Truth. Courage. Perseverance. The ability to share ideas without fear. These are the building blocks of any free and open society. And today, we reaffirm our commitment to those deeply American values by standing with Rushdie and all who stand for free expression.”
Since its publication in 1988, the author of “The Satanic Verses,” a novel based on the life of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, has faced death threats over his controversial writings.
In the year In 1989, Iranian cleric Ayatollah Khomeini issued a fatwa for Rushdie’s murder, saying the book was “against Islam, the Prophet and the Koran.”
New York State Police said at a news conference on Friday that the motive for the shooting was still unclear.