– A judge has declined to impose a gag order in the capital murder trial of Fort Hood massacre accused Major Nidal Hasan after an FBI transcript of a conversation between him and a television news reporter was released to the media.
In his conversation with an al-Jazeera reporter, the US Army psychiatrist, charged with killing 12 soldiers and a civilian in a November 5th, 2009, shooting spree, made a now-famous refrain that he felt guilty for serving the US Army.
“I would like to begin by representing to almighty Allah and to apologise to the mujahideen…the believers and the innocent,” he was quoted as saying in the transcript of a July 15th, 2011, jail phone call.
“I ask for their forgiveness and their prayers. I ask for their forgiveness for participating in the illegal and immoral aggression against Muslims…their religion…and their lands. It has resulted in the death…destruction…and deception of many innocent men and women.”
Prosecutors opened a hearing on Wednesday, Texas time, by asking the judge, Colonel Tara Osborn, to reconsider a gag order after parts of the two-year-old transcript appeared in the media.
Major Hasan sent copies of the document to the Killeen Daily Herald and a Fox News affiliate. The remarks were similar to comments he has made in recent weeks when he asked the judge to allow him to tell jurors that he did not wish to wear his army uniform.
The Austin American-Statesman reported that Major Hasan claimed his camouflage uniform “represents the enemy of Islam”.
“I can’t take any pride in wearing this uniform,” Major Hasan told Colonel Osborn.
“I want the panel to know that, that I am being forced to wear it.” Colonel Osborn rejected the request. Still, Major Hasan continues to wear a thick beard in violation of army regulations only days before his trial begins next week.
He is charged with shooting 13 people at Fort Hood’s Soldier Readiness Processing Centre and wounding 32 others, some severely.
Major Hasan made no objections in the proceeding. He is acting as his own lawyer – Sig Christenson

Nidal Hasan


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