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London, Ont. attack case transferred to Superior Court, returns March 8

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 of killing four members of a London, Ont., Muslim family and injuring a young Muslim boy will now have his criminal proceedings go before the Superior Court of Justice.

It’s the latest update after months of brief court appearances that have yet to answer any questions surrounding the deadliest mass murder in London’s history, which took place in June 2021.

Deemed a hate crime by local police, the attack targeted five members of the Afzaal-Salman family who were out for an evening walk in the city’s Hyde Park neighbourhood before being struck by a pick-up 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 but survived.

Read more: Canada and N.Z. national security advisers held joint call after London killings: docs

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

Veltman’s lawyer, Christopher Hicks, did not attend his client’s latest court appearance on Wednesday, but federal Crown prosecutor Lisa Matthews told the court that the Crown had filed a “preferred indictment against Mr. Veltman on Jan. 20 in the Superior Court of Justice.”

“He made his first appearance in assignment court by telephone (on Tuesday) and has been remanded to the April 12 assignment court in Superior Court for the purpose of conducting a judicial pretrial with the regional senior justice, Justice (Bruce) Thomas, on March 8,” Matthews said.

No other new information was shared during the brief appearance.

Veltman will remain in custody at the Elgin-Middlesex Detention Centre in the meantime.

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