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Early manifesto file found on laptop linked to alleged London attacker, jury told

Crown prosecutors are expected to present more evidence today at the Ontario trial of a man accused of killing four members of a Muslim family in an alleged act of terrorism. London police detective Micah Bourdeau, left, is seen speaking on a video monitor as accused Nathaniel Veltman, front centre left, Justice Renee Pomerance (on screen at top centre left), defence lawyers Peter Ketcheson and Christopher Hicks, right, look on in a courtroom sketch, in Windsor, Ont., Tuesday, Sept. 19, 2023. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Alexandra Newbould

WINDSOR, Ont. — Jurors in the Ontario trial of a man accused of killing a Muslim family were told police found a draft of a white nationalist manifesto on a laptop linked to the alleged terrorist.

Prosecutors on Tuesday called a digital forensics expert with the Windsor Police, who reviewed devices linked to Nathaniel Veltman.

Veltman is accused of deliberately hitting five members of the Afzaal family with his truck while they were out for a walk in London, Ont., in what prosecutors allege was an act of terrorism motivated by white nationalist beliefs.

Sgt. Liyu Guan told the jury a file titled “idk” accessed on an Acer laptop's Notepad app was an early version of “A White Awakening,” the name of a manifesto prosecutors allege was penned by Veltman and that police found in his apartment after the June 2021 attack.

Prosecutors presented evidence linking the laptop to Veltman, including a picture of his passport and driver's licence Guan says was recovered on the device along with user information registered to email addresses using parts of his name.

Veltman has pleaded not guilty to four counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder.

It's the first case of Canada's terrorism laws being put before a jury in a first-degree murder trial.

Jurors have previously seen video of Veltman telling a detective he had been motivated by white nationalist beliefs that he kept private to avoid detection by authorities.

He was also seen telling the detective that his attack was politically motivated and an act of terrorism.

Salman Afzaal, 46; his 44-year-old wife, Madiha Salman; their 15-year-old daughter, Yumna; and her 74-year-old grandmother, Talat Afzaal, were killed in the attack. The couple's nine-year-old son was seriously hurt but survived.

Guan is expected to continue his testimony Wednesday before he faces cross-examination.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Oct. 3, 2023.

The Canadian Press

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