The intricate proceedings of the trial involving Nathaniel Veltman, a 22-year-old charged with four counts of terrorism-motivated first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder, continue to unravel. The case centers around an appalling incident that occurred on June 6, 2021, when a Muslim family was tragically hit by a pickup truck in London, Ontario while waiting to cross a street.
Veltman confessed to being behind the wheel of the truck that fateful night, a confession that led to the deaths of four members of the Afzaal family and left a fifth gravely wounded. The casualties were identified as Talat, Salman, Madiha and Yumnah Afzaal, while their nine-year-old son miraculously survived his injuries.
The courtroom scene was marked by intense scrutiny this Wednesday, as Sgt. Liyu Guan, a digital forensic examiner with the Windsor Police Service, presented his evidence. Sgt. Guan had been entrusted with analyzing data from Veltman’s personal electronic devices, including a cellphone, laptop, external hard-drive and a couple of USB drives retrieved from the young man’s downtown London apartment.
A particularly incriminating exhibit was a document named “A White Awakening” discovered on one of the thumb drives. Both the defense and prosecution agreed that the document was penned by Veltman himself, bearing his radical political views.
Federal prosecutor Sarah Shaikh shared damning excerpts from the document, in which Veltman expounded on his personal views, stating his aversion for “mass immigration” and multiculturalism. He emphasized the right to exist for “European people” and criticized “Muslim on white” crime, although his claims lacked credible evidence. Advocating for the creation of a “new society” for “white people”, Veltman rallied against “cancel culture” and endorsed his political stance as a fight against “mob rule” democracy.
Judge Renee Pomerance urged the jury to stay grounded amidst the heated debates, reminding them that personal sentiments should not influence their verdict. She reiterated that they were not to decide based on their distaste for Veltman’s contentious opinions or to voice their own stand against racism. Rather, she insisted that they should judge objectively, basing their decision solely on Veltman’s actions.