Sunday, August 4, 2013

Fox News interview not a matter for the Court - Judge

Hasan joined in motion for TV appearance
Memorial for Pfc. Francheska Velez, 21 and pregnant when Hasan shot her
She pleaded for the life of her baby, crying "My baby. My baby!"

Ft. Hood – With 22 U.S. embassies throughout the mideast closed due to Al Qaeda threats and a worldwide travel alert in force, the Army is at pains to make sure no procedural or legal error prevents a successful prosecution of the murder case against Major Abu Nidal Malik Hasan, M.D.
The military judge ruled the question of allowing him to appear in an interview with Fox News is not a matter within the purview of the Court.
She lifted the previous gag order requiring the principles in the case to remain silent and make no statements to the public and the media. She further refused to grant an updated gag order offered by the prosecution that would extend the previous gag order that silenced prosecution and defense lawyers, witnesses, and the accused three and half years ago.
The former Army psychiatrist had joined with the Fox News to compel the government to allow the on-camera interview. Earlier last week, Hasan made a simultaneous release of the FBI transcript of an unpublished, untelevised telephone interview he granted Al Jazeera in 2011 to The Killeen Daily Herald and Fox News.
In that interview, he renounced his U.S. citizenship, his officer's commission in the U.S. Army, and his allegiance to any authority but that of Allah and the teachings of the Prophet Mohammed.

The issue is a key to the government's case against Hasan, though the Army has long held that the attack was not an act of terror, but a case of work place violence.
When the presentation of evidence and testimony begins in the case in chief of United States v. Nidal Malik Hasan at 9 a.m. Tuesday, August 6, the judge will allow the prosecution to introduce evidence pertaining to Internet searches on the subjects of the Taliban and jihad that Hasan made in the days before his handgun attack on 45 unarmed soldiers being readied for overseas deployment that left 32 wounded. He is facing a possibility of execution if convicted of 13 specifications of premeditated murder.
Col. Tara Osborn deferred ruling on a government motion to allow evidence of academic presentations Hasan made to fellow residents in a psychiatric specialty training program at Walter Reed Army Hospital that addressed the propriety of Islamic conscientious objection to making war on fellow Islamic soldiers allied with enemies of the U.S.
One Power Point panel made the statement that soldiers of the Islamic faith “love death more than you (Christians and Jews) love life.”
In the presentation, Hasan sought to justify suicide bombing, conflicts between religious training and Army doctrine, and a discussion about Sgt. Hasan Akbar, whose fragmentation grenade attack left two officers dead at Camp Pennsylvania, Kuwait, in 2003.

The motive of Islamic jihad also played a key role in the case against Sgt. Akbar.
Akbar is awaiting execution at the Army Disciplinary Barracks, Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas, pending a Supreme Court review and the President's signature on his death order. The latest military execution took place in 1961.
The judge ruled that prosecutors must first put these matters into context before she will rule on their admissibility.
She similarly deferred ruling on whether the previous pre-trial testimony of Military Police Officer Mark Todd will be admitted as evidence. He ended Hasan's brutal attack on soldiers dressed in combat fatigues at the Soldier Readiness Center on Guy Fawkes Day, Nov. 5, 2009, with three 9 millimeter pistol shots to his sternum that left him paralyzed from the chest down. He has since then developed a speech impediment, according to his doctors. The parties may offer more medical evidence as to Officer Todd's inability to testify.
Hasan intends to call only two witnesses in his behalf, according to his answers to questions the judge put to him in a pre-trial hearing held on Friday, August 2.
Judge Osborn renewed her instruction to Hasan that he will not be allowed to testify during his opening statements. She gave the example that he may tell the jury panel that “The evidence will show that I am the shooter,” but will not be allowed to turn his statement into direct testimony by making a statement such as, “I am the shooter.”  

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