Court proceedings in anti-Islamic attack put off another four weeks

A memorial continues to grow at the corner of Hyde Park and South Carriage roads in honour of a Muslim family who was run down Sunday night, June 8, 2021. Photo by Blair Henatyzen.

The need to receive and review more evidence in the case of a London man accused of intentionally running down and killing four members of a Muslim family has delayed court proceedings by four weeks.

Nathaniel Veltman appeared in court by way of video from the Elgin Middlesex Detention Centre on Wednesday. The proceedings lasted just three minutes. The 20-year-old said only his name, date of birth, and the name of his lawyer. He was wearing his usual orange jail attire and had visibly shorter hair than he did at his last appearance earlier this month.

A representative for his Toronto-based defence lawyer Christopher Hicks requested the case be put over for two weeks to allow more time to receive and review additional disclosure. However, it was ultimately decided the case would be adjourned for four weeks, in part to allow more time for the Crown and defense to engage in resolution discussions.

“We have contacted Mr. Hicks and requested a Crown pre-trial with him, but that has not yet been scheduled,” said Federal Crown Lisa Mathews.

It was also confirmed during the brief proceedings that a vehicle analysis report requested by the defense at a previous appearance has been received.

Veltman is charged with four counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder in the June 6 hit-and-run of the Afzaal family. Prosecutors have alleged the attack constitutes an act of terrorism, while London police previously indicated there is evidence it was a planned, premeditated act motivated by hate.

Salman Afzaal, 46, his wife Madiha Salman, 44, their 15-year-old daughter Yumna Afzaal and 9-year-old son Fayez Salman, and Salman Afzaal’s 74-year-old mother Talat Afzaal were out for a walk the evening of June 6 when a pickup truck mounted the curb at Hyde Park and South Carriage roads and hit them before speeding off. Fayez Salman was the lone survivor of the attack.

Veltman was arrested shortly after the family was struck, roughly seven kilometers from the collision scene. He has been in custody since that day.

A publication ban on the evidence presented in the case is in place.

Veltman is scheduled to return to court on November 17.