The man accused of stabbing author Salman Rushdie last week at Chautauqua Institution pleaded not guilty to second-degree attempted murder and assault charges on Thursday and was held without bail.
24-year old Hadi Matar was arraigned in Chautauqua County Court on an indictment returned earlier in the day by a grand jury that charged him with one count of second-degree attempted murder, which carries a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison, and one count of second-degree assault.
Judge Dave Foley issed a temporary order of protection for Matar to have no contact with Rushdie and Henry Reese, who also was injured in last week’s attack. He also ordered all lawyers to not discuss the case in the media. He said he would consider Public Defender Ned Barone‘s request to release Matar on bail.
Barone requested a gag order on all parties, citing concern that high media attention could taint perspective jurors, “The more things are leaked or the more things are spread out there is going to influence the jurors in this county and the opinions they’re forming. So, one of the constitutional rights for anybody, I’m not talking about Mr. Matar, anyone accused of a crime is entitled to a fair trial. I made this arguement in the court room and that is something that is the cornerstone of our society.”
Foley is expected to rule further on the gag order at a later date.
Matar will return to court at 9:00 a.m., September 7 for an evidence discovery conference.