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Trial of Nathaniel Veltman, accused in London vehicle attack, begins today

The trial of Nathaniel Veltman, who is facing terror-related murder charges, started Tuesday in Windsor as jury selection gets underway.

The 22-year-old is accused of killing four members of the Afzaal family, who were struck by a pickup truck on June 6, 2021.

The family of five was out for a walk along Hyde Park Road in west London when they were allegedly rundown by Veltman.

Salman Afzaal, 46, his 44-year-old wife Madiha Salman, their 15-year-old daughter Yumna and her 74-year-old grandmother, Talat Afzaal, were killed. A young boy, now 11 years old, was the lone survivor.

Veltman, was arrested moments after the crash. According to the indictment against him, Veltman is facing four counts of first degree murder and one count of attempted murder "in an alleged act of terroristm."

In June 2021, prosecutors informed Veltman that they had received consent to pursue terrorism charges under section 83 of the Criminal Code. A 2018 report from Public Safety Canada states that as of that year, 55 individuals had been charged with terrorism-related offences since they became a specific part of the Criminal Code in 2001.

A change of venue was granted by Justice Renee Pomerance last fall, which moved the trial to Windsor. The reasons for that decision, as well as the evidence and arguments presented in court, cannot be disclosed due to a publication ban.

The attack on the Afzaal family in London sent waves of shock, grief and fear across Canada and drove ongoing calls for measures to combat Islamophobia.

After the attack, the National Council of Canadian Muslims (NCCM) released a list of recommendations to fight anti-Muslim hate across Canada, including calling on both federal and provincial governments to commit to anti-Islamophobia strategies in education and offer resources to fight anti-Muslim hate. 

Representatives from the NCCM and members of the Muslim community of London, held a news conference addressing the upcoming trial outside the Windsor Superior courthouse Tuesday morning.

Jury selection is expected to take a few days, and a total of 10 weeks has been set aside for the proceedings.

-- With files from The Canadian Press, CTV London’s Nick Paparella and’s Ryan Flanagan. Top Stories

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