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Case surrounding London, Ont. attack on Muslim family held over to Aug. 25

Nathaniel Veltman faces four counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder. Crown prosecutors allege each charge constituted an act of terrorism. Pam Davies / Sketch Artist

The man accused in June’s targeted vehicle attack in London, Ont., which saw four members of a Muslim family die and a young boy left in hospital, made another virtual court appearance on Thursday.

Nathaniel Veltman, 20, of London stands accused of four counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder, and Crown prosecutors allege that each charge constituted an act of terrorism.

He remains in custody at Elgin-Middlesex Detention Centre (EMDC), a jail in the south end of London, but made his latest court appearance via video conference.

Read more: Canada’s government can’t be ‘neutral umpire’ in fight against Islamophobia, experts say

In a brief appearance that lasted less than five minutes, a student appearing on behalf of Veltman’s lawyer, Christopher Hicks, informed the court that the Toronto-based lawyer had received disclosure regarding the case.

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“We are now requesting an adjournment of four weeks, to August the 26, to continue reviewing that disclosure and for continued discussions with the Crown, please,” said the student.

Due to a scheduling conflict with Crown prosecutors, the court ruled in favour of adjourning the matter until Aug. 25.

Veltman’s charges stem from the London attack on June 6 that local police have labelled a hate crime that targeted its victims because of their religion.

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 in the city’s Hyde Park neighbourhood.

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

Read more: London, Ont. mosque offers 61 recommendations ahead of National Summit on Islamophobia

The attack prompted an outpouring of support for the victim’s relatives and Muslim Canadians on a local and national scale.

Last week, the federal government hosted a national summit aimed at combating Islamophobia, which featured an appearance from the London Muslim Mosque.

Diversity Minister Bardish Chagger said the event would be an opportunity for Muslim Canadians to give insight into how the government could stop such attacks and introduce policies to protect their communities.

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Federal gov’t hosts national summit on Islamophobia – Jul 22, 2021

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