The man who allegedly stabbed Salman Rushdie before his speech in Chautauqua, New York, last week, has been indicted by a grand jury on Thursday.
Twenty-four-year-old Hadi Matar is set to appear on charges in a Chautauqua County court this afternoon over the attack, which left the prolific “Satanic Verses” author severely wounded. The vicious attack sent Rushdie to hospital with a damaged liver and severed nerves. He may also lose sight of an eye as a result of being stabbed in the face.
Charges were filed against Matar on the day after the attack on August 13. Matar’s court-appointed lawyer entered the plea of not guilty. According to Fox News, the prosecutor’s office did not immediately release the new charges.
Following Rushdie’s publication of his infamous book “The Satanic Versus,” Iranian leader Ayatollah Khomeini placed a fatwa, or religious edict calling for his death due to its “blasphemous” depiction of the Muslim prophet.
An Iranian foundation has placed a bounty of $3 million on Rushdie’s head.
Speaking to the New York Post, Matar told the publication that he attacked Rushdie because the author “attacked Islam” and isn’t “a good person.” He also expressed surprise that the author survived the attack:
When I heard he survived, I was surprised, I guess.
Iran has officially denied involvement in the attack on the popular author, however it blamed the author and his supporters for Rushdie’s fate.
“We, in the incident of the attack on Salman Rushdie in the U.S., do not consider that anyone deserves blame and accusations except him and his supporters,” said Iran Foreign Ministry spokesman Nasser Kanaani. “Nobody has the right to accuse Iran in this regard.”