Military judge says no to delay of Fort Hood murder trial

Associated Press


A military judge on Tuesday entered a not-guilty plea for the Army psychiatrist accused in the deadly 2009 attack on Fort Hood, and she refused his request for another delay to hire an attorney.

Maj. Nidal Hasan, who is representing himself, said Ramsey Clark — who served as U.S. attorney general under President Lyndon Johnson and as a lawyer for the dictators Saddam Hussein and Slobodan Milosevic — offered to represent him.

He told the judge, Col. Tara Osborn, that he wanted to talk to Clark and would need a delay, but she rejected the request. She said Hasan could hire a new attorney if that person is ready by Tuesday, when jury selection is to start. Hasan said that if he couldn’t hire Clark, he would continue representing himself and didn’t want his former defense attorneys representing him. The judge previously ordered Hasan’s former attorneys to remain on standby to help if he asks.

Osborn noted that Hasan’s request came on the eve of the trial, which already has been delayed several times.

Hasan, 42, faces execution or life without parole if convicted of 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder in the massacre on the Texas Army post.

Osborn entered a not-guilty plea for Hasan, an American-born Muslin, after he refused.

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