For the sixth day, Nathaniel Veltman, a 22-year-old accused in a terrorism case in Windsor, resumed his testimony, recounting the shocking details before the jury. Veltman confessed to deliberately ramming his pickup truck into the Afzaal family in June 2021 in London, Ontario.
Although he bore witness to his actions, Veltman pleaded not guilty to all charges, including terrorism-motivated first-degree murder and attempted murder. Soon after the assault, Veltman candidly conveyed his motivations in two statements to the police, revealing a desire to retaliate against minority-on-white crimes he believed were being overlooked by mainstream media.
The enigma was fueled further when Veltman professed a looming fear: white communities in western countries were facing replacement due to a surge of immigration and decreasing local birth rates. On gentle coaxing from his interviewer, assistant Crown attorney Jennifer Moser, Veltman elaborated on his nebulous understanding of terrorism.
Moser posited a proposition, hinting that Veltman’s plot had more extensive and terrifying ambitions to topple western governments. Veltman, with an air of dismissiveness, refuted the claim, arguing that his intended victims held no political power.
Veltman, on one hand, denies starting his assault preparations in March 2021, contrary to his original statement to the police. The jury, however, has learned that Veltman procured a bullet-proof vest and a military-style helmet a few months prior and acquired the pickup truck by mid-May. A few days before the attack, he installed a “grill guard” on the same truck.
Moser faced Veltman unflinchingly, accusing him of recognizing the terrorist nature of his acts committed on June 6, 2021. In response, Veltman termed his actions as “extreme”, recalling the disheartening moment when he learned about the four casualties.
Curiously, Veltman admitted to consuming magic mushrooms roughly 40 hours before the assault, but he disputed still being under the effects when the attack occurred. His testimonies highlight an internal struggle to disentangle himself from his mind’s obsession with hateful content online.
Thursday’s proceedings took an intriguing turn when Moser launched a mental evaluation of Veltman, forcing the judiciary to vacate the courtroom. The subsequent legal discourse remains undisclosed due to a publication ban.
When the hearing resumed, Veltman was questioned about the communications he allegedly had with Dr. Julian Gojer, a forensic psychologist. The defense plans to call Dr. Gojer as a witness. Amidst the numerous appointments Veltman had with the doctor, Moser spotlighted Veltman’s apparent lack of references to everyday activities like eating and sleeping.
Moser further scrutinized Veltman’s alleged confession to Dr. Gojer, claiming, “I wanted to hurt or kill an adult Muslim, not a child.” Caught off guard, Veltman disputed it as a direct quote, countering that the doctor was merely summarizing his thoughts.
The trial resumes Friday, marking Veltman’s seventh day in the witness box.