Judge Postpones Stabbing Trial Due To Expected Publication of Rushdie’s Memoir

(NationalUSNews.com) — On August 12th, 2022, author Salman Rushdie was stabbed multiple times by 24-year-old Hadi Matar on stage at the Chautauqua Institution in Chautauqua, New York, in front of a horrified live audience. Rushdie was severely injured, and while recovering from some of the resulting injuries, he lost the use of one hand and is now blind in one eye. Matar was arrested immediately.

Matar’s trial was set to begin on January 8, but his defense attorney, Nathaniel Barone, is requesting a delay due to Rushdie’s memoir of the event being slated for release on April 16. Barone says that the defense team is entitled to see the memoir before the trial. He added that it’s not just the book they are entitled to but also anything Rushdie did in regard to the books, including any notes or recordings.

District Attorney Jason Schmidt says that Rushdie’s representatives cited intellectual property rights when they declined the prosecutor’s request for a copy of the manuscript. However, he doesn’t believe access to the book will make much of a difference in a case where the crime was witnessed by a large audience and extensively recorded. Chautauqua County Judge David Foley has ruled that they are entitled to see the memoir, and if they wish to wait, then the trial will be rescheduled.

Rushdie has a long record of being targeted for his writing. The former supreme leader of Iran, Ayatollah Khomeini, issued a fatwa declaring Rushdie’s book The Satanic Verses blasphemous, which caused Rushdie to spend some time in hiding. His new book, Knife: Meditations After an Attempted Murder, is being released by Penguin Random House. The publisher’s CEO Nihar Malaviya has characterized the book as “searing,” adding that they are honored to publish it.

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