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Rushdie on road to recovery, says agent as US court remands 24-year-old over stabbing

Rushdie on road to recovery, says agent as US court remands 24-year-old over stabbing
August 14
18:30 2022

Andrew Wylie, agent to Salman Rushdie, a renowned author, says the writer’s condition since he was stabbed has recorded some improvement.

Rushdie, author of the controversial novel, The Satanic Verses, was stabbed on Friday when he was about to deliver a lecture at the Chautauqua Institution in New York.

“He’s off the ventilator, so the road to recovery has begun. It will be long — the injuries are severe. But his condition is headed in the right direction,” Wylie told CNN.

Hadi Matar, a 24-year-old man, has been arraigned in court for allegedly stabbing Rushdie.

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According to the New York state police, Matar was restrained by staff members and guests who rushed onto the stage when the attack occurred, before a state trooper assigned to the event took the suspect into custody.

The author was said to have been stabbed in the neck and abdomen, after which he was airlifted to a hospital in Erie, Pennsylvania.

The suspect was arraigned in the Chautauqua county courthouse in Mayville, New York, on Saturday.

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Speaking with CNN, Nathaniel Barone, counsel to Matar, said the suspect pleaded not guilty to charges of second-degree attempted murder and second-degree assault with intent to cause physical injury with a deadly weapon.

During the arraignment, Jason Schmidt, Chautauqua county district attorney, said the author’s injuries included three stab wounds to the neck, four stab wounds to his stomach, puncture wounds to his right eye and chest, and a laceration on his right thigh.

Bail was rejected and Matar was remanded at the Chautauqua county jail.

The suspect’s next court appearance is August 19, and if found guilty, he risks over 30 years in prison.

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Meanwhile, according to a statement issued on behalf of the family by Zafar Rushdie, son of Salman, the author is still in critical condition, but can now talk.

“Following the attack on Friday, my father remains in critical condition in hospital receiving extensive ongoing medical treatment,” the statement reads.

“We are extremely relieved that yesterday, he was taken off the ventilator and additional oxygen and he was able to say a few words.

“Though his life-changing injuries are severe, his usual feisty & defiant sense of humour remains intact.

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“We are so grateful to all the audience members who bravely leapt to his defence and administered first aid, along with the police and doctors who have cared for him, and for the outpouring of love and support from around the world.

“We ask for continued patience and privacy as the family come together at his bedside to support and help him through this time.”

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