The Canadian Prosecution announced, during a brief hearing before the London Court in Ontario, that the suspect has been charged with carrying out a ramming attack that killed four members of a Muslim family on June 6 in Canada.
Police in the Canadian province of Ontario says a driver intentionally struck a family because they were Muslim, killing four people and seriously injuring a nine-year-old boy in what has been denounced as an “act of unspeakable hatred” and Islamophobia.
Four counts of murder were brought against the20-year-old suspect identified as Nathaniel Veltman, during a first hearing last week after the attack, which Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau described as a “terrorist” act.
In a statement after the hearing, the Royal Canadian Mounted Police (Federal Police) said that “prosecutors at the federal and provincial levels have agreed to initiate terrorism-related proceedings considering that the murders and attempted murder also constitute terrorist activity.”
The young man, who has no criminal record and is not affiliated with an extremist organization, said he had not appointed a lawyer yet.
The accused will appear before a new hearing on June 21.
Five members of one family were run over while they were waiting to cross a road in London, 200 km southwest of Toronto. The parents, their 15-year-old daughter and grandmother were killed, and their nine-year-old son was seriously injured.
“I think it is very important for us to talk about an act of terrorism,” Canadian Deputy Prime Minister Chrystia Freeland said.