After questioning Hasan for about an hour Monday, the judge ruled that he was mentally competent to represent himself and understood “the disadvantage of self-representation.” Hasan’s attorneys will remain on the case but only if he asks for their help, Osborn said.
She repeatedly urged Hasan to reconsider, noting that he would be held to the same standards as all attorneys regarding courtroom rules and military law — and that he would be going up against a prosecutor with more than 20 years of experience. Osborn also said he must be courteous to witnesses and not get personal with them.
After the judge asked once again if he understood that representing himself was not “a good idea,” Hasan replied: “You’ve made that quite clear.”
Hasan in 2011 cut ties with his previous lead attorney, John Galligan, a civilian who is a former military judge. Galligan said recently that he didn’t know why his former client wanted to represent himself.
Witnesses have said that after lunch on Nov. 5, 2009, a gunman wearing an Army combat uniform shouted “Allahu Akbar!” — “God is great!” in Arabic — and opened fire in a crowded medical building where deploying soldiers are given vaccines and undergo tests. Witnesses said the gunman fired rapidly, pausing only to reload, even shooting at some soldiers as they hid under desks and fled the building.