STORY: Hadi Matar, 24, is accused of wounding Rushdie, 75, on Friday just before the "The Satanic Verses" author was to deliver a lecture on stage at an educational retreat near Lake Erie. Rushdie was hospitalized with serious injuries in what writers and politicians around the world decried as an attack on the freedom of expression.
Matar was arraigned at the Chautauqua County Courthouse on an indictment returned earlier in the day by a grand jury that charged him with one count of second-degree attempted murder, which carries a maximum sentence of 25 years in prison, and one count of second-degree assault.
He has been in jail since his arrest and wore a gray-striped jumpsuit, a white COVID-19 face mask and his hands were shackled.
Judge David Foley ordered Matar to have no contact with Rushdie and agreed to a request by his defense lawyer to issue a temporary gag order barring the parties from discussing the case in the media. He said he would consider the defense's request to release Matar on bail.
Matar's next court appearance was scheduled for Sept. 22.