US judge orders Fort Hood suspect be clean-shaven

Major Nidal Hasan faces the death penalty if convicted of 13 counts of premeditated murder in the November 2009 attack on a Texas Army post.

Fort Hood: A US military judge says the Army psychiatrist charged in a 2009 shooting rampage must be clean-shaven or will be forcibly shaved before his murder trial.

Colonel Gregory Gross issued the order on Thursday after a hearing to determine whether a federal religious freedom law applies to Major Nidal Hasan`s case.

Hasan says he grew his beard because his Muslim faith requires it. Army regulations ban beards.

Gross ruled the defence didn`t prove that Hasan is growing a beard for sincere religious reasons.

Hasan faces the death penalty if convicted of 13 counts of premeditated murder in the November 2009 attack on a Texas Army post.

The beard issue has repeatedly caused delays in Hasan`s case.

PTI