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Request for witness protection order made in Sir Salman Rushdie attacker case

The Independent logo The Independent 14/09/2022 Mike Bedigan

A protection order has been requested for witnesses in the upcoming trial against the man who attacked Sir Salman Rushdie.

Chautauqua County district attorney Jason Schmidt requested the order to keep the identities of potential witnesses secret and asked for more time for evidence in the case to be examined.

Hadi Matar, 24, appeared at the hearing at Chautauqua County Court in New York state for the fourth time on Wednesday, having pleaded not guilty to attempted murder and assault charges last month.

Judge David Foley scheduled a further hearing for Friday September 16, in which he is expected to issue a ruling as to whether to grant more time to the DA’s office.

Matar, of Fairview, New Jersey, was indicted on the charges by a grand jury following the incident on August 12.

He was arrested after allegedly rushing on to the stage at the Chautauqua Institution, stabbing Sir Salman about a dozen times including in the neck and eye in front of a crowd.

Sir Salman Rushdie attacker makes second US court appearance (Alamy/PA) © Provided by The Independent Sir Salman Rushdie attacker makes second US court appearance (Alamy/PA)

He was later charged with one count of second-degree attempted murder, which carries a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison, and one count of second-degree assault.

Judge Foley previously refused to grant Matar bail.

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