Suspect in London, Ont. attack on Muslim family retains lawyer, returns to court July 29

Click to play video: '‘Amazing and important step’: Community reacts to terrorism charges laid in deadly London attack'
‘Amazing and important step’: Community reacts to terrorism charges laid in deadly London attack
WATCH ABOVE: Amazing and important step': Community reacts to terrorism charges laid in deadly London attack. – Jun 14, 2021

The London man accused of targeting a Muslim family in a deadly vehicle attack in Hyde Park has retained a lawyer and will return to court on July 29.

Nathaniel Veltman, 20, made a brief appearance in court by video link Monday, where it was confirmed that he is being represented by Toronto lawyer Christopher Hicks.

Veltman remains in custody at Elgin-Middlesex Detention Centre in London, Ont., and will return to court via video on July 29.

Veltman faces four first-degree murder charges and an attempted murder charge that prosecutors allege constitute an act of terrorism.

Police have said the attack on June 6 in London, Ont., was motivated by hate against the Islamic faith.

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Salman Afzaal, 46, his 44-year-old wife Madiha Salman, their 15-year-old daughter Yumna and her 74-year-old grandmother, Talat Afzaal were killed while out for an evening walk.

The couple’s nine-year-old son, Fayez, was seriously hurt.

The attack prompted a massive outpouring of support for the family and calls for all levels of government to address Islamophobia.

Late last week, London Mayor Ed Holder, along with the mayor of Quebec City, wrote a joint letter to the prime minister in support of an emergency national action summit on Islamophobia in the wake of the attack.

The letter by Holder and Québec City Mayor Régis Labeaume goes on to offer support from municipalities in helping to “eradicate the scourge of Islamophobia across the country.”

In the letter, both Holder and Labeaume talk of the need to combat all forms of hatred, including antisemitism. A separate summit addressing the rise in antisemitism in recent months is also in the works.

— with files from Global News’ Jacquelyn LeBel.

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