The man accused of killing eight people in last month’s New York City terror attack has pleaded not guilty to murder.
Sayfullo Habibullaevic Saipov entered his plea before judge Vernon Broderick in Manhattan on Tuesday, exactly four weeks after he allegedly drove a rented pickup truck into pedestrians and cyclists.
The 29-year-old Uzbek national was shot by police officer Ryan Nash and arrested immediately after the attack on Halloween.
He was charged with eight counts of murder, 12 counts of attempted murder, one count of providing material support to Islamic State and one count of violence and destruction of a motor vehicle resulting in death.
He has denied all charges but could could face the death penalty if found guilty of the most serious accusations, although it is not yet clear whether prosecutors will seek capital punishment.
US President Donald Trump has said he should be executed.
Saipov told investigators “he felt good about what he had done”, having been inspired by IS videos and begun planning the attack in 2016, according to a criminal complaint filed the day after the attack.
He asked for permission to display the IS flag in his hospital room as he received treatment for the gunshot wound, the complaint said.
Islamic State claimed responsibility for the truck attack, which killed several foreign visitors including five old school friends from Argentina and a woman from Belgium.
The next hearing in Saipov’s case is set for 23 January.