Midweek Sport - - NEWS -

AN army psy­chi­a­trist who faces the death penalty for a 2009 shoot­ing ram­page has told ju­rors: “The ev­i­dence will clearly show that I am the shooter.”

United States Ma­jor Ni­dal Ma­lik Hasan be­gan his court mar­tial over killings at a Texas mil­i­tary base with open­ing state­ments that lasted less than two min­utes.

He told ju­rors: “The ev­i­dence pre­sented dur­ing the trial will only show one side.”

The 42-year-old had wanted to ar­gue that he shot U.S. troops to pro­tect Tal­iban fight­ers in Afghanistan, but the judge for­bade the Amer­i­can-born Mus­lim from us­ing that de­fence.

Hasan was shot in the back in the in­ci­dent at Fort Hood and was paral­ysed from the waist down.

The U.S. army medic is charged with killing 13 peo­ple and wound­ing 32 oth­ers.

His court mar­tial is be­ing con­ducted un­der heavy se­cu­rity at the same base at which he went on his mur­der­ous shoot­ing spree.

He is rep­re­sent­ing him­self at his court mar­tial, which is ex­pected to last sev­eral weeks.

Hasan does not deny com­mit­ting one of the worst mass shoot­ings in Amer­i­can his­tory but was for­bid­den to plead guilty un­der mil­i­tary law be­cause he faces the death penalty – a rare pun­ish­ment in the mil­i­tary.

The last ex­e­cu­tion in the U.S. mil­i­tary jus­tice sys­tem was 1961.

A long row of ship­ping freight con­tain­ers, stacked three high, cre­ated a makeshift fence around the court­house on the first day of the trial.

Hasan last week re­nounced his U.S. cit­i­zen­ship, say­ing it was not “per­mis­si­ble” for some­one to pre­fer Amer­i­can democ­racy over tra­di­tional Is­lamic Sharia law.

Hasan wrote that Mus­lims should not “com­pro­mise their be­liefs” for the sake of non-Mus­lims.


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