The New Jersey man accused of stabbing author Salman Rushdie on stage in upstate New York has been charged with attempted murder.
The alleged attacker, Hadi Matar, has been charged by the Chautauqua County District Attorney’s Office with attempted second-degree murder, Reuters reported.
Mr. Matar, 24, of Fairview, New Jersey was taken to Chautauqua County Jail late Friday night after being questioned by authorities. Western New York News Now reported.
State police, the FBI and the County DA are working to determine a motive for the attack. Mr Rushdie remains in the hospital.
“The person responsible for yesterday’s attack, Hadi Matar, has now been formally charged with attempted second-degree murder and second-degree assault,” Chautauqua County District Attorney Jason Schmidt said in a statement on Saturday. “He was charged with these charges last night and remanded in custody without bail.”
The detectives were waiting Friday for a warrant to search Matar’s backpack. Police also had the New Jersey street sealed off, where a house believed to be linked to the suspect is located Western New York News Now.
“Immediately after the attack, I was on site to review the evidence to determine what needed to be further developed and preserved for prosecution,” added Mr Schmidt. “I then sent a prosecutor to stay with the investigators and pass information to me while I was working on a search warrant that was signed last night by our County Court Judge, Hon David W Foley.”
“Execution of the legal authority conferred on us by that order has already taken place and is ongoing. We are working closely with state police, our local law enforcement agencies and federal law enforcement partners to fully develop the evidence,” he said.
“We have been in contact with our counterparts in the state of New Jersey, where the attacker is from, to share information and help them better understand the planning and preparation leading up to the attack so that we and the various agencies involved can determine which additional costs, if any, must be charged. This is the very early stage of what will invariably be a lengthy legal process. We will try to be as transparent as possible without jeopardizing the matter,” the DA said, according to the local outlet.
Mr Rushdie’s agent, Andrew Wylie, told… The New York Times that the author was on a ventilator on Friday evening and could not speak.
“Salman will probably lose one eye — the nerves in his arm have been severed and his liver has been stabbed and damaged,” Wylie told the paper. “The news is not good.”
More to come…