MAYVILLE, NY (WNY News Now) – Those prosecuting the man accused of attacking a renowned author at the Chautauqua Institution last summer are ready to take their case to trial.
Chautauqua County District Attorney Jason Schmidt said Monday his office is ready to present their case against Hadi Matar before a jury.
The 24-year-old was formally indicated by a Chautauqua County Grand Jury in August on attempted murder and assault, both felonies, in connection with the August 12 attack on author Salman Rushdie.
Rushdie, along with event moderator Henry Reese, were allegedly attacked with a knife by Matar just before Rushdie gave a lecture at the Chautauqua Institution Amphitheater.
In September, Judge David Foley issued a protective order for the victims and witnesses. This order keeps witness identities from being disclosed in open court, or to Matar, until a week before a full trial is set to begin.
While a trial could still be over six-months, or more, away all evidence has been turned over to Matar’s Attorney, the county Public Defender Ned Barone for review as parts of New York State’s Discovery law.
It took the DA’s office, longer than usual, to review evidence gathered due to the sheer amount collected. The DA says he has received over 30,000 evidence files alone from New York State Police.
Matar’s next appearance in Chautauqua County Court will be on March 6, 2023 at 9 a.m. for an omnibus conference update.