U.S. Army psychiatrist Major Nidal Malik Hasan (42), who is charged with killing 13 at Fort Hood military base in Texas in November 2009, appeared to be supporting the prosecution case against him this week, to the point where his attorneys sought permission to pull out from the proceedings. On Thursday military judge Tara Osborn, who is overseeing the trial of the self-confessed gunman , denied defence attorneys proposal to drop out “even though they believe it was tantamount to helping him commit suicide”.
“This is nothing more than their disagreement with Major Hasan’s strategy in conducting his defence,” said Colonel Osborn, referencing Mr. Hasan’s insistence on representing himself, though his attorneys argued that their client was “trying to help the prosecution achieve a death sentence”.
On Wednesday Mr. Hasan’s attorneys had argued that they believed that the judge’s order was causing them to violate professional ethics. “It’s morally repugnant to us as defence counsel,” they had pleaded.
Mr. Hasan, who was said to have entered the courtroom in a wheelchair after being paralysed in the 2009 attack, “didn’t even bother to cross-examine several of the military’s witnesses on Tuesday,” reports noted.
This week Mr. Hasan also made a direct declaration that he was indeed the person behind the shooting. “The evidence will clearly show that I am the shooter,” Mr. Hasan told the panel of 13 senior military officers who will determine the verdict in the case.
He added, “The evidence presented with this trial will show one side. The evidence will also show that I was on the wrong side. I then switched sides.”