Major Nidal Malik Hasan, charged with killing 13 people at Fort Hood in 2009, will soon face a court-martial. Should the case have been labeled an act of terrorism rather than 'workplace violence?'
Bell County Sheriff's Department/AP
US Army Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, charged with killing 13 people and wounding another 32 at Fort Hood, Texas, in 2009, will soon face a military court-martial that is both controversial and long in coming.
Judge Tara Osborn, a US Army colonel, ruled Wednesday that the trial would go ahead at Fort Hood – the site of what a US Senate report termed "the worst terrorist attack on US soil since Sept. 11, 2001" – rather than be moved to another venue as Major Hasan’s lawyers had wanted.
The Army has said the officers who will make up Hasan's jury will be brought in from another post, probably Fort Sill in Oklahoma, Reuters reports.
Hasan's counsel had said the change in venue and jury pool were a question of fairness, given the saturation coverage about the shootings in the Army Times newspaper, compared with newspapers for the other branches of the armed forces.
Jeffrey Addicott, a retired Army Special Forces judge advocate general, told Reuters before Wednesday’s hearing, "This is such a high profile case that you can't go to any military installation in the world and find a panel which has not heard about this case."
Colonel Osborn also rejected Hasan's request to select jurors from the Navy or Air Force instead of the Army.