Suspect in Salma Rushdie Stabbing Pleads Not Guilty

On Saturday, the man accused of stabbing renowned British-American author Salman Rushdie in western New York pleaded not guilty to all charges, including attempted second-degree murder.

Authorities claim that Hadi Matar, 24, stabbed Mr. Rushdie at a speaking engagement on Friday. Mr. Rushdie’s controversial writing has drawn death threats in the past.

One of the charges brought against Mr. Matar, a New Jersey resident, was “assault in the second degree” with intent to cause physical injury with a deadly weapon.

However, Mr. Matar’s public defender Nathaniel Barone said his client entered a not guilty plea. According to the lawyer, the man has been “very cooperative,” but he did not elaborate on the details of their conversations.

Mr. Matar is set to appear in court on Friday after being denied bail and remanded to Chautauqua County.

New York state police reported that Rushdie, 75, was stabbed on stage at the Chautauqua Institution just before he was supposed to deliver a lecture.

According to a Pennsylvania police spokesman, he was rushed to a hospital in northwest Pennsylvania. It was known that he underwent surgery, but the hospital said Sunday that it had no new information regarding his health condition.

Chautauqua County District Attorney Jason Schmidt revealed that Mr. Rushdie’s injuries included three stab wounds to the right side of the front of his neck, four stab wounds to his stomach, a puncture wound to his chest, a puncture wound to his right eye, and a laceration on his right thigh. The county prosecutor also said that Rushdie might lose his right eye.

Mr. Rushdie’s agent, Andrew Wylie, informed The New York Times that the author had been placed on a ventilator. He was unable to speak.

His liver was punctured and wounded, and the nerves in his arm were cut, Mr. Wylie said, adding: “It’s not good news,”

The spokesperson told the media that the FBI had been collaborating with regional and international law enforcement in its investigation into the attack. The group includes “international partners in the United Kingdom to give additional resources, since the victim is a UK-US dual citizen,” he added.