Prosecution ready for trial of Hadi Matar in Rushdie assault

OBSERVER Photo by Gregory Bacon Hadi Matar is directed to his seat during his appearance in Chautauqua County Court Monday.

MAYVILLE — The case of Hadi Matar, the New Jersey resident accused of stabbing famed author Salman Rushdie over the summer, is one step closer to trial.

On Monday, Matar was back in Chautauqua County Court where it was announced that District Attorney Jason Schmidt officially filed for a Certificate of Compliance. That document confirms that his office has provided the defense team all known evidence that will be used in court.

“The People now have fully complied with their disclosure obligations,” Schmidt said to Judge David Foley. “All witnesses are available to the People so that we are ready to proceed.”

He added that they are still waiting for a DNA analysis from the defendant, which is being done in Buffalo.

Public Defender Nathaniel Barone, who is representing Matar, requested 90 days for motions as they review the evidence.

Barone complained that in the past, the District Attorney’s Office has filed numerous supplemental certificates of compliance and questioned if they are “really ready to proceed to trial.”

Foley said that just because the Certificate of Compliance has been filed, that doesn’t stop the investigation and should more material be discovered, the District Attorney’s Office can make an argument for it to be included.

Foley scheduled the next court appearance for March 6 for additional motions to be made.

Matar, of Fairview, N.J., is accused of stabbing Rushdie a dozen times before a lecture at Chautauqua Institution on Aug. 19. Matar told the New York Post that he did it because Rushdie disrespected Islam with his book “The Satanic Verses,” which was published in 1988. He said he was surprised Rushdie survived the attack.

Last month, Rushdie’s literary agent, Andrew Wylie, told the Spanish language newspaper El Pais that the 75 year old author suffered three serious wounds to his neck and 15 more wounds to his chest and torso in the attack that took away sight in an eye and left a hand incapacitated.


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