Suspect's father refuses to speak about Rushdie attack

Matar, who was charged with the attempted murder of the author, has pleaded not guilty



Photo: Reuters
Photo: Reuters

By Reuters

Published: Mon 15 Aug 2022, 7:51 AM

Last updated: Mon 15 Aug 2022, 7:52 AM

The father of a man charged with the attempted murder of novelist Salman Rushdie, has locked himself in at his home in southern Lebanon, and is refusing to speak to anyone, Town Mayor Ali Tehfe said on Sunday.

The suspect in Friday's attack — in New York state — has been identified by the police as 24-year-old Hadi Matar from New Jersey. He has pleaded not guilty. Matar is originally Lebanese, and his family comes from the southern Lebanon town of Yaroun.

Tehfe had said that Matar's parents had emigrated to the United States, where Matar was born and raised, but his father returned to Lebanon several years ago.

"His father is in the country now, but he has locked himself in, and is not accepting to give any kind of statement to anyone. We tried with him, we sent people, we went and knocked the door but he is not agreeing to speak to anyone," Tehfe told Reuters.

"We don't know anything about this subject so we will not comment," the official told Reuters, speaking on condition of anonymity.

Indian-born Rushdie, 75, was off the ventilator, and his condition was improving, his agent and a son said, on Sunday.

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