Fort Hood gunman can't use defending Taliban defense

By REUTERS
June 14, 2013 23:22
1 minute read.

FORT HOOD, Texas - Army psychiatrist Major Nidal Hasan cannot argue at trial that he was defending the Afghan Taliban when he opened fire in a 2009 shooting rampage at Fort Hood, Texas, that killed 13 people, a military judge ruled on Friday.

"There was no evidence that there was any immediate threat to others from your fellow soldiers," Colonel Tara Osborn said, denying Hasan's request to use the defense as he represents himself at his upcoming trial on 13 counts of first-degree murder.

Hasan, a 42-year-old US-born Muslim, is accused of killing 13 people and wounding 32 others in an attack on soldiers at a readiness facility where many of those shot were preparing to deploy to Iraq or Afghanistan.

Fort Hood was a major deployment point for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan, and Hasan himself had been preparing to leave for Afghanistan with a unit assigned to help soldiers deal with mental issues.

"I object," Hasan said when the judge ruled that he could not use his chosen defense. He also asked Osborn to delay the court martial by three months to allow him to prepare a new defense strategy and add to the witness lists. Osborn did not rule on that request.


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