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Hadi Matar from New Jersey who was charged with attempted murder and assault for attacking author Salman Rushdie has pleaded not guilty in New York court.

The Chautauqua County District Attorney's office said on Saturday, Hadi Matar, the suspect in the attack on author Salman Rushdie at an event in New York state, was reportedly charged with attempted murder and was being held without bond. 

The 24-year-old was arraigned in centralised arraignment on Saturday and was remanded without bail at Chautauqua County Jail.

According to Nathaniel Barone, his public defender said that Matar pleaded not guilty, CNN reported.

Earlier on Friday, Matar was brought before a court on charges of attempted murder in the second degree and assault in the second degree and was remanded without bail at Chautauqua County Jail.

"On August 12, 2022, the Bureau of Criminal Investigation arrested Hadi Matar, 24 of Fairview, NJ for Attempted Murder 2nd degree (B Felony) and Assault 2nd degree. Matar was processed at SP Jamestown and transported to Chautauqua County Jail. Matar was arraigned in centralized arraignment on August 13, 2022, and was remanded without bail at Chautauqua County Jail," the New York State Police said in a statement.

According to the statement, "On August 12, 2022, at about 10:47 a.m., a male suspect later identified as Hadi Matar, 24 of Fairview, NJ ran up onto the stage and attacked Salman Rushdie, 75. Rushdie suffered an apparent stab wound to the neck and chest and was transported by helicopter to an area hospital. His condition is not yet known. "

The New York State police further informed that the co-speaker for the event, Ralph Henry Reese, 73 also suffered a minor head injury. The staff members of the Chautauqua Institution and guests went on stage to assist in holding down the suspect. A State Trooper assigned to the event was next to the stage and took the suspect into custody.

Following hours of surgery, Rushdie was on a ventilator and unable to speak as of Friday evening, according to his agent, Andrew Wylie. The novelist was likely to lose an eye and had nerve damage in his arm and wounds to his liver, Wylie had earlier said in an email.

Rushdie, who faced death threats over his book 'The Satanic Verses', was stabbed on stage in Western New York state.

New York State Police identified the suspect on Friday. Describing the whole incident, New York State Police said in a statement that a male suspect ran up onto the stage prior to a speaking event at the Chautauqua Institution in Chautauqua and attacked Rushdie.

It said the author suffered an apparent stab wound to the neck and was transported by helicopter to an area hospital. A suspect has been taken into custody.

The seventy-five-year-old author caught the limelight for his novel 'Midnight's Children' in 1981. His 1988 book 'The Satanic Verses' led to a fatwa, a religious decree, by the then Iranian revolutionary leader Ayatollah Ruhollah Khomeini. The threat forced him into hiding for several years. The attack on Rushdie has drawn wide international condemnation.

US President Joe Biden expressed shock over the "vicious attack" on Salman Rushdie and said that he pray for his health and recovery.

In his statement praising the first responders, Biden said that he is grateful to the first responders and the brave individuals who jumped into action to render aid to the author.

"Jill and I were shocked and saddened to learn of the vicious attack on Salman Rushdie yesterday in New York. We, together with all Americans and people around the world, are praying for his health and recovery. I am grateful to the first responders and the brave individuals who jumped into action to render aid to Rushdie and subdue the attacker," Joe Biden said in a statement.

UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson wrote in a tweet, "Appalled that Sir Salman Rushdie has been stabbed while exercising a right we should never cease to defend. Right now my thoughts are with his loved ones. We are all hoping he is okay." 

UK Home Secretary Priti Patel said she was shocked and appalled to hear of the unprovoked and senseless attack on Sir Salman Rushdie.

"Freedom of expression is a value we hold dear and attempts to undermine it must not be tolerated. My thoughts are with Sir Salman and his family."

Suzanne Nossel, CEO of PEN America, said they can think of no comparable incident of a public violent attack on a literary writer on American soil.

"PEN America is reeling from shock and horror at the word of a brutal, premeditated attack on our former President and stalwart ally, Salman Rushdie, who was reportedly stabbed multiple times while on stage speaking at the Chautauqua Institute in upstate New York," Nossel said. 

(With inputs from ANI)

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