Jury Selection Concludes for Ontario’s High-Profile Hate Crime Trial

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The jury selection process for the trial of Nathaniel Veltman, the 22-year-old indicted for the allegedly hate-motivated murder of three generations of Ontario’s Afzaal family, reached its conclusion this past Wednesday.

Veltman, standing accused of four counts of first degree murder and a single count of attempted murder, is alleged to have used a pickup truck to strike the Muslim family while they were enjoying an evening stroll in the western region of London on June 6, 2021.

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The ill-fated incident led to the demise of four Afzaal family members on Hyde Park Road, leaving a then-nine year-old boy – now 11 and living with relatives – tragically orphaned but since healed from his injuries.

The immediate days following the incident sparked intense concern amongst local officials, with both law enforcement and political representatives vehemently decrying the attack as a crime motivated by base hatred.

As the trial’s proceedings launch, they will occur in Windsor following the approval of a change of venue motion by Justice Renee Pomerance. The London-based proceedings concluded this Wednesday, having resulted in the selection of 14 jurors and two alternate jurors over a span of two days.

The chosen jurors have been issued a request to reconvene Monday at 10 a.m. for the trial’s official commencement, with opening statements anticipated. The remaining members culled from Tuesday’s jury pool have likewise been asked to make a return on Monday.

A publication ban ordered by the court currently inhibits the media from disclosing the questions directed towards each individual juror from the panel during selection. Nevertheless, in her address to the prospective jury, Pomerance divulged the trial’s controversial context, revealing it to involve serious allegations of “extremist right-wing views.”