Man accused of murder in hammer attack now facing added terror charge

By Canadian Press

TORONTO — A man accused of killing a Toronto woman with a hammer has had his murder charge updated to include terrorism activity.

Toronto Police say the 30-year-old accused, Saad Akhtar, had turned himself in after the killing last Friday in northeast Toronto.

Police say the woman was walking along a main road when she was attacked by a hammer-wielding man and died from her injuries.

The victim has been identified as Hang-Kam Annie Chiu, 64.

Police initially charged Akhtar with first-degree murder, but he now faces a charge for first-degree murder involving terrorist activity.

A Toronto police spokeswoman says the updated charge came in partnership with the RCMP.

“We discovered some evidence over the weekend, which led us to believe that there may be a terrorist-related element to the homicide,” Meaghan Gray said. “As a result, we contacted the RCMP’s Integrated National Security Enforcement Team and worked with them on the investigation.”

The new charge also involved consultations with both provincial and federal prosecution before both gave their consent for police to lay the updated charge.

Gray declined to discuss what prompted police to look to the terror-related charge given the matter is before the courts.

“It will all come out in court at some point,” Gray said. “So, we’re not getting into it.”

Akhtar appeared again in court on Tuesday to have the original murder charge updated.

He is scheduled to appear again in March.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published Feb. 25, 2020.

The Canadian Press

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