News / USA

Prosecution Rests Case in Fort Hood Trial

In this courtroom sketch defense witness Stephen Bennett, right, testifies as Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, left, and presiding judge Col. Tara Osborn look on in court during Hasan's court-martial in Fort Hood, Texas, Aug. 20, 2013.
In this courtroom sketch defense witness Stephen Bennett, right, testifies as Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, left, and presiding judge Col. Tara Osborn look on in court during Hasan's court-martial in Fort Hood, Texas, Aug. 20, 2013.
Greg Flakus
Prosecutors in the trial of accused Fort Hood shooter Major Nidal Hasan rested their case Tuesday after presenting 89 witnesses and a large amount of technical evidence over the past weeks.  It is now time for the accused, who is representing himself, to call witnesses and present his case.

After presenting their last witness in the case against Major Hasan, military prosecutors rested and presiding Judge Colonel Tara Osborn set Wednesday for the defense to begin presenting its case.  Hasan is accused of murdering 12 soldiers and a civilian and wounding more than 30 others during a shooting rampage at the army base on November 9, 2009.

Jeffrey Addicott, a military law expert at the Center for Terrorism Law at St. Mary's University in San Antonio, says the prosecution presented a complete picture of how Hasan planned the attack, how it was carried out, and the horrific results in terms of people wounded and killed.

"The prosecution put on a strong case," he said. "They have put on scores of witnesses, they covered their bases from A to Z, they have proven that he is the individual who killed the victims and wounded the other victims."

Since Hasan is representing himself, he will be able to call and question witnesses and present any other evidence he has on Wednesday.  Judge Osborn ruled earlier that he cannot argue that the murder was justified in order to protect others, namely, the Taliban and Islamic radical fighters in Afghanistan or Iraq.  But Addicott believes, based on statements Hasan made earlier, that he himself will take the stand and admit to the crime.

"He is going to take full responsibility and full credit, if you will, because in his mind what he did was justified," he said. "Now, the judge will not allow him to raise 'defense of others' as a defense, but she cannot stop him from talking about why he did it."

Addicott says that if Hasan does this he will then open the way for prosecutors to ask in cross examination about his jihad motive, something the judge had not allowed them to mention during their presentation of evidence.
 
"They will be able to ask him those questions, because once he takes the stand and opens that door then it is fair game," he said.

Over the past two weeks Hasan has remained mostly silent, asking few questions of prosecution witnesses.  This sped up the proceedings and allowed prosecutors to wrap up sooner than had been expected.  Hasan has indicated he only expects to call two witnesses, so Jeffrey Addicott says the closing arguments could come as early as Thursday, with the case then going to the jury, known in military law as the panel.  He says they could have a verdict by early next week and then the trial could move to the punishment phase in which panel members would determine whether to apply the death penalty.

You May Like

Republican Majority in Congress Off to Rough Start

Standoff over Homeland Security funding exposes philosophical, tactical problems within party More

Pakistan Blocks Baloch Activist from US Trip

Human Rights Commission of Pakistan slams Islamabad officials for stopping people from leaving country to attend human rights conference More

Video Muslims Long Thrived in North Carolina Before Students Killed

Idyll shattered February 10, when three Muslim university students living in Chapel Hill were gunned down by a neighbor More

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Muslims Long Thrived in N Carolina Before Slaying of 3 Studentsi
X
Jerome Socolovsky
March 05, 2015 9:04 PM
The killings of three Muslim students in North Carolina early last month came as Muslims across the United States have felt under siege, partly as a result of terrorist attacks being committed internationally in the name of their faith. But Muslims have long thrived in university cities in this part of the American South. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Muslims Long Thrived in N Carolina Before Slaying of 3 Students

The killings of three Muslim students in North Carolina early last month came as Muslims across the United States have felt under siege, partly as a result of terrorist attacks being committed internationally in the name of their faith. But Muslims have long thrived in university cities in this part of the American South. VOA's Jerome Socolovsky reports.
Video

Video Fuel Shortages in Nigeria Threaten Election Campaigns

Nigeria is suffering a gas shortage as the falling oil price has affected the country’s ability to import and distribute refined fuels. Coming just weeks before scheduled March 28 elections, the shortage could have a big impact on the campaign, as Henry Ridgwell reports for VOA.
Video

Video Report: Human Rights in Annexed Crimea Deteriorating

A new report by Freedom House and the Atlantic Council of the United States says the human rights situation in Crimea has deteriorated since the peninsula was annexed by Russia in March of last year. The report says the new authorities in Crimea are discriminating against minorities, suppressing freedom of expression, and forcing residents to assume Russian citizenship or leave. Zlatica Hoke has more.
Video

Video 50 Years Later African-Americans See New Voting Rights Battles Ahead

Thousands of people will gather to mark the 50th anniversary of a historic civil rights march on March 7th in Selma, Alabama. In 1965, dozens of people were seriously injured during the event known as “Bloody Sunday,” after police attacked African-American demonstrators demanding voting rights. VOA’s Chris Simkins introduces us to some civil rights pioneers who are still fighting for voting rights in Alabama more than 50 years later.
Video

Video Craft Brewers Taking Hold in US Beer Market

Since the 1950’s, the U.S. beer industry has been dominated by a handful of huge breweries. But in recent years, the rapid rise of small craft breweries has changed the American market and, arguably, the way people drink beer. VOA’s Jeff Custer reports.
Video

Video Video Claims to Show Shia Forces in Iraq Executing Sunni Boy

A graphic mobile phone video is spreading on the Internet, claiming to show Iraqi forces or Shia militia executing a handcuffed Sunni boy. Experts have yet to verify the video, but already Islamic State followers are publicizing it across social media, playing on deep-rooted sectarian fears. VOA’s Jeff Seldin reports.
Video

Video Ukrainian Authorities Struggle to Secure a Divided Mariupol

Since last month's cease-fire went into effect, shelling around the port city of Mariupol has decreased, but it is thought pro-Russian separatists remain poised to attack. For the city’s authorities, a major challenge is gaining the trust of residents, while at the same time rooting out informants who are passing sensitive information to the rebels. Patrick Wells reports for VOA.
Video

Video Volunteer Gauge-Watchers Help Fine-Tune Weather Science

An observation system called CoCoRaHS is working to improve weather science, thanks to thousands of volunteers across the country who measure precipitation in their own backyards, then share their data through the Internet. VOA's Shelley Schlender reports.
Video

Video NASA Spacecraft Approaches a Dwarf Planet

NASA’s Dawn spacecraft will make history on Friday, March 6, when it becomes the first man-made object to orbit a dwarf planet named Ceres. It is located in the asteroid belt between Mars and Jupiter, almost 500 million kilometers from Earth. Among other objectives, Dawn will try to examine two mysterious bright white spots detected on the planet’s surface. VOA’s George Putic has more.
Video

Video Young Muslims Radicalized Online

Young Muslims are being radicalized ‘in their bedrooms’ through direct contact with Islamic State or ISIL fighters via the Internet, according to terror experts. There are growing concerns that authorities and Internet providers are not doing enough to counter online extremism - which analysts say is spread by a prolific network of online supporters around the world. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.
Video

Video Positive Messaging Transforms Ethiopia's Image

Ethiopia was once known for famine and droughts. Now, headlines more often point to its fast-growing economy and its emergence as a regional peacemaker. How has Addis Ababa changed the narrative? VOA's Marthe van der Wolf reports.
Video

Video Answers Elude Families of MH370 Passengers

For the families on board Malaysia Airlines flight MH370, an airline official’s statement nearly one year ago that the plane had lost contact with air traffic control at 2:40 AM is the only thing that remains confirmed. William Ide reports.

All About America

Circumventing Censorship

An Internet Primer for Healthy Web Habits

As surveillance and censoring technologies advance, so, too, do new tools for your computer or mobile device that help protect your privacy and break through Internet censorship.
More