UK & World News
Beard Row Delays Fort Hood Murder Trial
A US soldier accused of killing 13 people at an army base in Texas could have his beard forcibly shaved before he stands trial.
Major Nidal Hasan is charged with the shooting at the Fort Hood base in 2009 that a US Senate report described as "the worst terrorist attack on US soil since September 11".
Since the incident, the former army psychiatrist has grown a beard in violation of US Army regulations.
He has already been found gulty of contempt of court five times for refusing to remove the beard and Colonel Gregory Gross, who is hearing the case, has said if Hasan does not shave himself, soldiers will be ordered to shave his beard for him.
The United States Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces has delayed the start of the court martial until Monday so it can review the stand-off.
Hasan's lawyers have said that the beard is an expression of his Muslim beliefs and forcing him to shave it violates his rights.
Geoffrey Corn, a military law expert at the South Texas College of Law in Houston, said the appeals court could settle the beard issue in a matter of days.
"They're going to do everybody a favour by settling it now, rather than after the trial ends and the appeals process begins," he said.
Witnesses to the shooting have claimed they saw Hasan jump on a desk and shout "Allahu Akbar!" (God is great) before he began firing at them at random with a pair of handguns fitted with extended round clips.
Armed police later raided the base and shot Hasan, who was left paralysed from the neck down.
Major Hasan tried to plead guilty to 13 charges of premeditated murder, with his lawyers arguing he wanted to take reponsibility for his actions.
But Colonel Gross said that military law does not allow for guilty pleas for any offence which carries the death penalty. He is expected to enter a not guilty plea on behalf of Hasan, who is a US citizen of Palestinian origin.
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what do you think?
Don` it break yer `eart ?
ive got a spare bic
I got a chain saw lol
He's right though, if he's a muslim forcibly shaving him would enrage the muslim kindoms - ALL OF THEM ! Don't understand why they refuse to accept his guilty plea when they will find him guilty and kill him anyway - essentially it just makes it a show trial - takes the current bad news of the front pages and helps bump up the media figures! Also like to know if as stated he was paralysed from the neck down - how is he expected to shave it off himself?
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Orange...your moderation is backward and pathetic. More importantly, you are stifling free speech with your biased interpretation of your terms and conditions.