Accused in London, Ont. attack on Muslim family returns to court Nov. 17

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

There’s been another adjournment in the court case surrounding the targeted attack against a London, Ont., Muslim family in the city’s northwest end.

In what marked London’s deadliest mass murder, five members of the Afzaal-Salman family were out for a walk in the city’s Hyde Park neighbourhood before being struck by a pickup truck.

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 in the attack. The couple’s nine-year-old son, Fayez, was left seriously injured.

Local police have labelled the attack a hate crime and say the family was targeted because of their religion.

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

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On Wednesday, he made a virtual appearance from Elgin-Middlesex Detention Centre (EMDC) in a hearing that lasted just over three minutes.

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A student appearing on behalf of Veltman’s lawyer, Christopher Hicks, requested a two-week adjournment in order to receive and review more disclosure.

The length of time drew concern from Crown prosecutor Lisa Mathews, who also wished to have resolution discussions with Veltman’s counsel.

The two then settled on a four-week adjourned and the court ruled to have Veltman return on Nov. 17.

The accused remains in custody at EMDC in the meantime.

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