Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan, the Army psychiatrist accused of killing 13 in a Fort Hood shooting rampage in 2009, could get yet another trial delay. The judge will rule Tuesday on his request for more time to prepare his case.
Maj. Hasan recently won the right to represent himself. Opening statements in his trial are set to start on July 1. But that date — already reflective of several delays because of his refusal to cut his facial hair and because of various other attorney filings — could be moved back once again.
He’s asked for three more months to prepare a new defense strategy and interview new witnesses, Reuters reported. And though the judge, Col. Tara Osborn, has been battling to get the court-martial back on schedule, court analysts think Maj. Hasan will win his request for a delay.
“If I were a betting man, I would say maybe a delay of a week,” said one former Army prosecutor in the Reuters report. “This will eliminate the risk that, on appeal, some appellate court will say you should have granted a delay.”
Maj. Hasan is a U.S.-born Muslim who, according to various reports, shouted, “Alluha Akbar,” during the November 2009 shootings that also left 32 wounded at the Texas base.