Windsor chosen for Ontario terrorism trial of man charged in killing of Muslim household in London
The Ontario trial for Nathaniel Veltman, charged with killing a Muslim family in London in 2021, will be held in Windsor, a judge has decided.
The trial is scheduled to start in September and is expected to last 12 weeks.
Veltman, 22, faces four counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder in what prosecutors allege was an act of terrorism.
Salman Afzaal, 46, his 44-year-old wife, Madiha Salman, their 15-year-old daughter, Yumnah, and her 74-year-old grandmother, Talat Afzaal, were killed. The couple’s nine-year-old son was seriously hurt.
Veltman, who was 20 at the time of his arrest, is accused of deliberately hitting the family with his truck as they were out for a walk on the evening of June 6, 2021.
Police say he targeted the family because of their Muslim faith.
WATCH | Terror suspect had ‘hate-related material’ on devices, documents show:
London, Ontario, terror suspect had ‘hate-related material’ on devices, documents show
Superior Court Justice Renee Pomerance ruled this summer that a change of venue is warranted in the case. Reasons for that decision, as well as the evidence and arguments presented in court, cannot be disclosed due to a publication ban.
The deaths in the Afzaal family sent waves of shock, grief and fear across the country, and spurred ongoing calls for measures to combat Islamophobia.
A mural featuring a painting by Yumnah Afzaal is now the centrepiece of a permanent memorial at the site of the attack, at the intersection of Hyde Park Road and South Carriage Road.
The City of London has also dedicated a garden to the Afzaal family.
Leaders from the city’s Muslim community said they are hopeful justice will be served, regardless of the location of the trial.
“I think people will want to go. People will want to see that this person is brought to justice and the presence of the community will be important for closure and healing,” said Imam Aarij Anwer, a founding member of the London Council of Imams .