Accused in London, Ont., truck attack on Muslim family to appear in court

London

The London, Ont., man charged with first-degree murder and terrorism in the fatal hit-and-run on a Muslim family out for an evening walk will make another court appearance this morning.

Yumna Afzaal, 15, left, Madiha Salman, 44, centre left, Talat Afzaal, 74, and Salman Afzaal, 46, right, were out for an evening walk when they were run over by a man who police say was motivated by anti-Muslim hate. (Submitted by Afzaal family)

The London, Ont., man charged with first-degree murder and terrorism in the fatal hit-and-run on a Muslim family out for an evening walk will make another court appearance this morning.

Nathaniel Veltman, 20, faces four first-degree murder charges, one attempted murder charge, and associated terrorism charges.

On June 6, five members of a London, Ont,. family were out for an evening walk when they were struck by a black truck. Salman Afzaal, 46, his wife Madiha Salman, 44, their daughter Yumna Afzaal, 15, and Salman's mother, Talat Afzaal, 74, were killed. The youngest member of the family survived. The nine-year-old has since been released from hospital and is being cared for by extended family members.

Veltman was arrested a short drive from the scene of the crash.

Police say the attack on the family was motivated by anti-Muslim hate.

He has made two other court appearances, all by video link from the Elgin Middlesex Detention Centre. At his last appearance, federal prosecutors appeared before the court and upgraded his charges to include terrorism.

Under the Criminal Code, terrorism charges can be laid when prosecutors believe a crime is committed for a political, religious or ideological purpose, for the purpose of intimating the public or a segment of the public.

When he last appeared, Veltman didn't have a lawyer and he hasn't entered a plea. He has indicated that he will need to apply for legal aid.

Nathaniel Veltman, 20, appeared in Ontario Superior Court via video link from the Elgin Middlesex Detention Centre on Monday, June 14, and was charged with terrorism offences. (Sketch by Lauren Foster-MacLeod)

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