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Fort Hood Press Center
DATE: August 6, 2013 12:00:00 PM CDT

Opening statements and begining testimony in Hasan court-martial

FORT HOOD, Texas – In the case of U.S. vs. Maj. Nidal M. Hasan, Thomas Rheinlander, Fort Hood public affairs officer, released the following statement outlining morning court-martial events Aug. 6.

This is the first trial day of the case of U.S. vs. Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan. Hasan is accused of 13 separate capital offenses, specifically, the premeditated murder of 12 Soldiers and one retired Soldier in addition to the wounding of 31 others.

The military trial process is a deliberate one. It is intended to ensure that all accused are given a fair trial.

The military justice system predates the Constitution, and the proceedings are based on statutes and the Constitution which require a jury panel hear all capital offenses. A defendant may not plead guilty to a capital offense and in this way, the military criminal justice process ensures a fair trial is provided.

The governments’ morning opening statement detailed the alleged events of the afternoon of Nov. 5, 2009. Prosecuting attorneys opened with a description of events beginning with the purchase of a firearm, a notification that Hasan would soon deploy, and ended with the shooting of fellow Soldiers at the Soldier Readiness Center.

Acting as his own counsel, Hasan presented a brief opening statement in which he indicated the evidence would show he was the shooter. He further stated that he realized during the war that he eventually found himself “on the wrong side”, and he switched sides, considering himself a Mujahedeen. Hasan offered apologies for the mistakes he made in this endeavor.

Eight witnesses have testified for the government thus far. They presented evidence of the purchase of a weapon and frequent practice at a local shooting range. Witnesses further testified that Hasan had been selected to deploy in October 2009. They also testified that Hasan gave away all of his possessions shortly before the shooting.

Court recessed for lunch at 1 p.m. and Hasan’s prayers, and the government will continue to present witnesses and evidence from 2:30-5 p.m.

For more information contact:
Fort Hood Public Affairs Office
(254) 286-5139
1001 761st Tank Battalion Ave
Suite W105
Fort Hood, TX 76544
[email protected]