Witness protection request made in Salman Rushdie attack case

District attorney makes request to keep the identities of witnesses secret

Hadi Matar, 24, accused of the attempted murder of British author Salman Rushdie, at a procedural hearing in Chautauqua County Courthouse in Mayville, New York, on August 18. AFP
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Chautauqua County District Attorney Jason Schmidt has requested a protection order for witnesses in the coming trial against the man who attacked Sir Salman Rushdie.

Mr Schmidt also asked for more time for evidence in the case to be examined.

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

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

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

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

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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 Mr Matar bail.

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Updated: September 15, 2022, 12:58 AM