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Accused in fatal London, Ont., truck attack to appear in court

Accused in fatal London, Ont., truck attack to appear in court

The man facing murder and terrorism charges after members of a London, Ont., family were killed in a hit-and-run is expected to make another brief court appearance this morning. 

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

On June 6, the five family members 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. 

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

Veltman is expected to appear in Ontario Superior Court via video link from the Elgin Middlesex Detention Centre. At his last hearing, court heard that he was in talks with Toronto lawyer Christopher Hicks. 

Hicks told CBC News he would not be speaking to the media until he was officially retained.

Federal prosecutors have upgraded Veltman’s charges to include terrorism. Police and prosecutors allege the hit-and-run was an act of anti-Muslim hate. 

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

Veltman hasn’t had a bail hearing yet or entered a plea. He has indicated he will need to apply for legal aid. 

Flag-wrapped coffins are seen outside the Islamic Centre of Southwest Ontario, during a funeral for the Afzaal family, killed in what police describe as a hate-motivated attack in London, Ont., on June 12. (Carlos Osorio/Reuters)

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