> Trial of man charged in killing of Muslim family in London, Ont., to be held in different city

Trial of man charged in killing of Muslim family in London, Ont., to be held in different city

The trial of a man facing terror-related murder charges in the deaths of four members of a Muslim family in London, Ont., will be held in a different city.

Superior Court Justice Renee Pomerance ruled Monday that a change of venue is warranted in the case of Nathaniel Veltman.

The reasons for that decision, as well as the evidence and arguments presented in court, cannot be disclosed due to a publication ban.

The new location has not yet been determined, but proceeding, anticipated to take 12 weeks, is scheduled set to begin on Sept. 5, 2023

Veltman, who was 20 at the time of his arrest, is accused of deliberately hitting the family with his truck as they were out for a walk on the evening of June 6, 2021.

Salman Afzaal, 46, his 44-year-old wife Madiha Salman, their 15-year-old daughter Yumnah and her 74-year-old grandmother, Talat Afzaal, were killed. The couple’s nine-year-old son was seriously hurt.

Friends of Yumnah Afzaal unveil a mural at a vigil for the Afzaal family in London on June 6, the one-year anniversary of the family being killed in what police call a hate-motivated attack as they walked at this spot near their home. (Geoff Robins/The Canadian Press)

Veltman faces four counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder in what prosecutors allege was an act of terrorism.

His case will be heading straight to trial without a preliminary inquiry.

The deaths of the Afzaal family sent waves of shock, grief and fear across the country, and spurred ongoing calls for measures to combat Islamophobia.

Last month, London residents and members of the local Muslim community gathered to honour the family a year after the attack.

A mural featuring a painting by Yumnah Afzaal is now the centrepiece of a permanent memorial at the site of the attack, at the intersection of Hyde Park Road and South Carriage Road. 

The City of London has also dedicated a garden to the Afzaal family.

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