The author Salman Rushdie has been taken off a ventilator and is now able to speak, a day after being stabbed in upstate New York as he prepared to deliver a lecture.
Rushdie remained hospitalized with critical wounds, but fellow author Aatish Taseer reported that he was "off the ventilator and talking (and joking)." on Saturday evening.
Andrew Wylie, Rushdie's representative, verified the information without providing any other specifics.
The accused pleads not guilty
Earlier in the day, the man accused of assaulting him on Friday at the non-profit Chautauqua Institution pleaded not guilty to attempted murder and assault charges in what a prosecutor described as a "preplanned" act.
Saturday in western New York, an attorney for Hadi Matar, 24, accused of attacking Salman Rushdie, entered the plea on his behalf.
The defendant arrived in court with his wrists cuffed in front of him, wearing a black and white jumpsuit and a white face mask.
Matar obtained an advance pass to the event where the author was speaking and arrived a day early with phony identification, according to District Attorney Jason Schmidt, who informed the judge that Matar had taken steps to place himself in a position to injure Rushdie.
Schmidt stated, "This was a targeted, unprovoked, preplanned attack on Mr. Rushdie,"
Barone argued that officials had taken too long to bring Matar before a judge, keeping him "hooked up to a bench at the state police barracks."
Barone remarked, "He has that constitutional right of presumed innocence,"
Rushdie might lose an eye
Rushdie, 75, had a damaged liver, severed nerves in an arm and an eye, and was unable to talk, according to his agent Andrew Wylie on Friday evening. Rushdie was on a ventilator and unable to speak.
Rushdie likely would lose his injured eye.
In a statement released Saturday, Vice President Joe Biden and First Lady Jill Biden expressed their "shocked and saddened" over the attack.
Rushdie, born into a Muslim Kashmiri family in Bombay, now known as Mumbai, before relocating to the United Kingdom, has received death threats for his fourth novel, which some Muslims have deemed to contain blasphemous parts.
In the early 2000s, Rushdie moved to New York, and in 2016 he became an American citizen.
In 1989, the late Supreme Leader of Iran, Ruhollah Khomeini, issued a fatwa, or edict, calling for Rushdie's execution.
Iran's administration has distanced itself from Khomeini's proclamation for an extended period, yet anti-Rushdie feelings remain.
The incident occurred at a delicate time in Iran's negotiations with major powers to revive a 2015 nuclear deal that the United States abandoned in 2018 in exchange for the re-lifting of severe US sanctions.
The Iranian government did not state the attack.
Mohammad Marandi, a member of Iran's nuclear-negotiating delegation in Vienna, stated on Twitter, "I won't be shedding tears for a writer who spouts endless hatred and contempt for Muslims and Islam."
"But, isn't it odd that as we near a potential nuclear deal, the US makes claims about a hit on Bolton... and then this happens?" He inquired, alluding to the allegations brought against an Iranian person by the United States for the purported murder plan against the former national security advisor of the United States, John Bolton.