London

London, Ont., man accused in fatal attack on Muslim family makes brief court appearance

Nathaniel Veltman, 20, the man accused of killing a London, Ont., family with his truck because of their Islamic faith, appeared briefly in court today.

Nathaniel Veltman made a routine video appearance from jail

A memorial at the intersection of Hyde Park and South Carriage roads in London, Ont., where after a family of five was struck by a truck on June 6, 2021. (Evan Mitsui/CBC)

Nathaniel Veltman, 20, the man accused of killing a London, Ont., family with his truck because of their Islamic faith, appeared briefly in court today. 

Veltman has been in jail since the June 6 attack on the Afzaal family, who were out for an evening walk. Police later said the family was targeted because they were Muslim. 

Today's court appearance was made via video link from the Elgin Middlesex Detention Centre, where Veltman is being held. 

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)

Veltman has hired Toronto lawyer Christopher Hicks to represent him. A law student appeared on behalf of Hicks, telling the court that disclosure has been coming in from the Crown, but that lawyers still needed to review it. Disclosure is the evidence police and prosecutors have gathered against a person, to be used in court. 

Hicks and prosecutors also want to set up a meeting to discuss the case, court heard. Veltman will be back in court Sept. 22. 

Prosecutors have said they are treating the attack against the Afzaal family as a terrorist act. Veltman is facing four counts of first-degree murder, one count of attempted murder, along with terrorism charges.

Salman Afzaal, 46, his wife Madiha Salman, 44, their daughter Yumna Afzaal, 15, and Salman's mother, Talat Afzaal, 74, were killed in the June attack by a black pickup truck. The youngest member of the family, a nine-year-old boy, is the only survivor. He is being cared for by extended family.

now