Canadian Murderer of Muslim Family has Charges Upgraded to ‘Terrorism’
Story Code : 938282
Federal and Provincial Crown Attorneys, Sarah Shaikh and Jennifer Moser, announced the measure at the latest court session that was held for Nathaniel Veltman on Monday, Canadian television network CTV News reported.
They said they were going ahead with “terror proceedings” after securing the relevant “consent.”
“Mr. Veltman, you are now charged with four counts of first-degree murder,” Shaikh said at the virtual session, according to Toronto Star. “In addition to the allegation that these murders were planned and deliberate, the further allegation is that they also constitute terrorism offences,” she said.
The victims have been identified as 46-year-old Salman Afzaal, his 44-year-old wife Madiha, their 15-year-old daughter Yumnah, and her 74-year-old grandmother, Talat Afzaal.
The couple’s nine-year-old son Fayez Afzaal has been recovering from serious injuries sustained in the attack.
The diseased were laid to rest over the weekend.
During, the June 6 incident, Veltman plowed his pickup truck into the family after mounting the vehicle over the curb. The victims were targeted while enjoying their evening walk.
Veltman was arrested at a parking lot of a nearby mall shortly afterwards.
The family had immigrated from Pakistan 14 years ago and were dedicated, decent and generous members of the London Muslim Mosque, Zahid Khan, a family friend, has said.
Officials have been trying unsuccessfully to find legal representation for Veltman on at least two occasions. Observers cited the sensitivity of the case and the huge stigma that it has created for Canada as a potential reason why lawyers were balking at taking up the case.
The London Muslim Mosque, which the family belonged to, has called for a national summit on Islamophobia between all levels of government.
Muslims have been holding vigils throughout the world in commemoration of the victims, while condemnatory statements have been pouring out throughout Muslim countries and elsewhere.