A judge refused to bail a suspect in the attempted murder of writer Salman Rushdie, despite his lawyer’s insistence and his no-conviction record.
Hadi Matar, 24, appeared before a Western New York court where he was charged with several public stabbings of Rushdie after he burst onto the stage of the Chautauqua Institute.
Matar’s lawyer tried in vain to persuade the judge to release him on bail pending trial. Lawyer Nathaniel Baron said Matar has no criminal record and will not flee the country if he is released.
Barron also asked the judge to issue an order barring journalists from trying to contact Matar at the Chautauqua County Jail, adding that the jail had received “several hundred phone calls” from people trying to contact Matar.
Media pressure led Matar to give a short interview to the New York Post in which he spoke of his hatred of Rushdie and also praised Iran’s late Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini.
In 1989, Khomeini issued a fatwa on Rushdie’s bloodshed for his novel The Satanic Verses, which was considered blasphemous by some Muslims, and a semi-official Iranian institution offered a reward of over $3 million for Rushdie’s assassination.
Judge David Foley ordered the lawyers involved in the case not to conduct any interrogations.
It is noteworthy that 75-year-old Rushdie is being treated in a Pennsylvania hospital due to his severe injuries.
Source: Associated Press