Forthood shooting: Gunman`s court-martial starts today

The court-martial of US Army psychiatrist Major Nidal Hasan, accused of killing fellow soldiers at a military base in 2009, will start on Tuesday, during which he will be face-to-face with survivors of the shooting incident.

Houston: The court-martial of US Army psychiatrist Major Nidal Hasan, accused of killing fellow soldiers at a military base in 2009, will start on Tuesday, during which he will be face-to-face with survivors of the shooting incident.

The shooting at Ford Hood army base on November 5, 2009 had left 13 people dead and more than 30 people wounded.

Hasan was shot by a civilian police officer during the gunfire, and is confined to a wheelchair.

The Army psychiatrist will represent himself, asking questions to the very people he admits attacking back in 2009. Many of those wounded in the attack are expected to testify.

During a hearing in open court three years ago, some of the survivors had already given their statements about the shooting to determine whether Hasan would stand trial.

One such victim, Alan Carroll, recalled playing dead so that Hasan wouldn`t shoot him again.

Hasan is representing himself at trial. He wanted to argue that he carried out the shooting in "defence of others" - namely, Muslim insurgents fighting US soldiers in Afghanistan.

However, judge Colonel Tara Osborn has told Hasan that he will not be able to make speeches about his beliefs or try to testify himself when he questions witnesses.

PTI

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