Up to 25 years imprisonment: The alleged Salman Rushdie assassin has been indicted by a jury in the US state of New York. According to the media, he pleads “not guilty”.

A grand jury in the city of Chautauqua, New York, has indicted 24-year-old Hadi Matar in the assassination attempt on British-Indian writer Salman Rushdie. Investigators have accused Matar of attempted murder, an attack with a deadly weapon and intent to cause bodily harm. He himself pleads “not guilty”, as reported by several US media. If convicted, Matar faces up to 25 years in prison.The young man was brought into the hall in handcuffs and striped convict clothing and is said to have said little. The judge has now ordered the accused to remain in custody. The judge ruled out a release on bail.

Rushdie was fatally injured by a man with multiple stab wounds at an event in upstate New York on August 12. He has since been treated at a Pennsylvania hospital and is on the mend.

According to Matar’s mother, he became radicalized during a visit to Lebanon. Her son “changed a lot” as a result of his trip to her country of birth, the British newspaper “Daily Mail” quoted his mother as saying.Matar himself said in a published interview with The New York Post that he had read “a few pages” of Rushdie’s novel The Satanic Verses. “I don’t like the person. I don’t think he’s a very good person,” Matar said. Rushdie is someone who “attacked Islam”.

In 1989, Iran’s then spiritual leader, Ayatollah Khomeini, called for the writer’s assassination because of alleged insults to the Prophet Mohammed in “The Satanic Verses”. Matar did not say in the interview if he was influenced by the fatwa against Rushdie. According to the fatwa, the writer had lived for years under strict police protection in ever-changing, secret locations. For some time now, however, Rushdie has been leading a relatively normal life and appearing in public.