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'A heavily biased expert is no expert at all': Prosecutor asks jury to dismiss key defence witness in terrorism trial of London man

WARNING: The video and the details in this article may be disturbing to some viewers

Crown Attorney Fraser Ball has started his closing remarks in the ongoing terrorism trial happening in Windsor, Ont.

Nathaniel Veltman, 22, has pleaded not guilty to four counts of first-degree murder and one count of attempted murder in the June 6, 2021 attack on the Afzaal family in London, Ont.

Four members of their family died and fifth family member was injured – a boy who was nine years old at the time – after they were struck by a pickup truck which Veltman has admitted at trial to driving.

“You have it all,” Ball told the jury. “Everything you could possibly need to convict in this case.”

Ball detailed the list; eyewitnesses to the murders, video capturing the murder, the murder weapon (the truck), DNA (evidence), data from the truck, photographs from the scene, a 9-1-1 call, Veltmans’ manifesto, and a full confession.

Nathaniel Veltmans’ testimony:

Veltman testified for eight days at trial, during which he told the jury about his difficult upbringing by a strict religious mother, his history of mental illness and declining mental health during the pandemic.

“Mr. Veltman can change his story now but he cannot change the facts. These facts are very unfriendly to Mr. Veltman,” Assistant Crown Attorney Fraser Ball told the jury Tuesday afternoon.

Ball asked the jury to dismiss Veltmans’ assertion that he tried to steer away from the family at the last second because the truck data and eyewitness accounts do not support it.

Veltman drove, "Fast, no brakes, [with] intentional steering right into and through an innocent family,” Ball said to the jury, calling his driving “precise, lethal and intentional.”

Ball asked the jury to consider if Veltman had indeed wanted to change his mind at the last second, he wouldn’t have struck the family, or he would have stopped on impact.

“Mr. Veltman was completely aware of the consequences of his actions,” Ball said.

Ball replayed the 9-1-1 call made by a cab driver, during which the jury can hear Veltman interject, saying, “It was me, I did it on purpose.”

He told the jury to consider if those were the words of a person who is detached from reality or depersonalized.

Veltman manifesto:

One piece of the evidence towards terrorism is a manifesto written by Veltman called ‘A White Awakening.’

Ball noted Veltmans’ manifesto was easily uncovered by police on a USB drive that was left out in the open in his apartment and it was not password protected.

It is a hate-filled and lengthy document outlining Veltmans’ extreme views towards Muslims.

"Nathaniel Veltman had a message for Muslims. It was strong. It was brutal. It was terrifying. 'Leave this country or you and your loved ones could be next,'" Ball told the jury.

The manifesto starts with an apology to his readers for rambling on.

Ball questioned why he would do so if it wasn’t meant to be shared at some point.

"He spent months in planning this very thing motivated by extreme racism and his desire to commit a terrorist attack, his desire to motivate others as he had been motivated by others to act," Ball said.

Ball asked the jury to consider why Veltman would purchase a heavily financed pickup truck he couldn’t afford, and then pay for tinted windows and a push bar installed on the front just weeks before the attack.

He also had to purchase a bulletproof vest and helmet online.

“Mr Veltman was buying all the tools he needed,” Ball said.

When he left his apartment, Veltman was wearing cargo pants, steel toed boots, and a white t-shirt with a cross spray-painted on it.

"These are work clothes the defence will have you believe,” Ball said to the jury. “These were warrior clothes the evidence shows.”

Forensic psychiatrist evidence:

The crown wants the jury to give no weight to the evidence presented by forensic psychiatrist Dr. Julian Gojer, who was called by the defence.

Over the course of several days of testimony, Dr. Gojer told the jury he diagnosed Veltman with multiple mental illnesses, including obsessive compulsive disorder (OCD), autism spectrum disorder (ASD), depression, complex trauma, and personality disorder.

He further testified at the time of the attack, Veltman was suffering from what the doctor refers to as ‘adverse effects’ or ‘rebound effects’ of withdrawal from psilocybin – commonly known as magic mushrooms - which Veltman consumed approximately 40 hours before the attack.

“The Crowns’ position is that Dr. Gojer was not impartial at all,” Ball told the jury, highlighting three reasons why the jury should be “deeply troubled” by his evidence:

  1. The crown said it’s based almost entirely on Veltman’s self-reporting to the doctor
  2. The evidence about ‘adverse effects’ of psilocybin is an “educated guess” according to Ball and is supported by one online survey and a Sept. 2023 appointment with Veltman after the trial started
  3. The crown alleges the doctor did not provide an unbiased perspective to the court and did not take all information into account when writing his report and testifying at trial

“A heavily biased expert is no expert at all,” Ball said to the jury.

Ball will continue his closing arguments Wednesday morning in Superior court.


Follow this link to read about the defence's closing statement. Top Stories

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