On June 6, 2021, Nathaniel Weltman killed four members of the Afzal family by running him over with his car.
- Afzal’s family says they are consoled by the verdict.
- The accused will be sentenced later.
- Pakistani-Canadian family murdered on June 6, 2021.
A Canadian man, Nathaniel Veltman, has been convicted of murder after hitting and killing four members of the Afzal family with his car in London, Ontario, but the jury did not specify whether he was motivated by terrorism, BBC informed of.
The case marked the first time a first-degree murder trial on Canadian terrorism laws was argued before a jury, with the 12-person jury returning a verdict after less than six hours of deliberations, which under Canadian law. Is secret.
The Pakistani-Canadian Muslim family killed on June 6, 2021, included 46-year-old Salman Afzal, his wife Madiha Salman, 44, their 15-year-old daughter Yumna Afzal and Afzal’s 74-year-old mother Talat Afzal.
However, the couple’s nine-year-old son was seriously injured but survived.
The guilty verdict was delivered in front of a packed courtroom at the Superior Courthouse in Windsor, prompting emotional reactions from spectators including members of London’s Muslim community and friends of the Afzals.
Relatives of the Afzal family told reporters outside the courtroom that although the verdict had not brought their family back, it had brought them solace. He said the trial was a reminder that work still needs to be done to address hate in all forms in Canada.
Tabinda Bukhari, speaking on behalf of the family, said, “This was not just a crime against the Muslim community, but an attack against the safety and security of all Canadians.”
The National Council of Muslims (NCCM) said it was “relieved that justice has been served”.
NCCM head Omar Khamisa said, “The attack two years ago changed the relationship Canadian Muslims have with their country.”
“For many of us, for the first time, we felt unsafe and targeted just for walking on the street.”
Both the prosecution and defense agreed that he was driving that day but Veltman pleaded not guilty, claiming to be mentally ill.
The jury also heard evidence of Weltman’s hatred of Muslims and obsessive consumption of far-right and anti-Muslim material online during the COVID-19 pandemic, as well as a document obtained by police after his arrest.
During his trial, Weltman claimed that he was influenced by a strict Christian upbringing and that he had obsessive-compulsive disorder. He admitted to feeling detached from reality after eating magic mushrooms before crushing the family.
He said he had resisted the idea of crushing Muslims twice before, but later, while out for a meal, he could not resist the “urge” when he saw the family out for a walk.
Veltman will be sentenced at a later date. However, under Canadian law the punishment for first-degree murder is life imprisonment with no parole for 25 years.