New York, Oct 14 (IANS) The Afghan-born US citizen accused of setting off bombs last month in New York entered a plea of not guilty during his arraignment, the media reported.
Ahmad Khan Rahimi took part in the hearing via videoconference on Thursday from the Newark hospital where he is recovering from wounds received in the gun-battle in the town of Linden, Efe news reported.
Charges in connection with the explosions that injured 29 people were filed previously in federal court.
The suspect’s attorney, public defender Peter Liguori, said at the start of Thursday’s session that the defendant requested that court documents be changed to reflect that his surname is Rahimi, not Rahami, as originally stated by authorities.
The state of New Jersey is charging Rahimi with five counts of attempted murder of a law enforcement officer.
Two officers were wounded when Rahimi opened fire at the police who tracked him down in Linden on September 19 as part of a manhunt across the New York City metropolitan area launched after investigators identified him as the suspect in the bombings.
Rahimi is accused of planting a powerful homemade pressure-cooker bomb that exploded in the lower Manhattan neighbourhood of Chelsea on the night of September 17, injuring 31 people.
He is also accused of planting another pressure-cooker bomb four blocks away that did not explode and of a pipe bombing in Seaside Park, New Jersey, on the morning of September 17.
Nobody was hurt when the pipe bomb went off along the route of a US Marine charity race.