WASHINGTON, August 23 (RIA Novosti) – A US Army psychiatrist on Friday was convicted of premeditated murder for a 2009 rampage shooting at the Fort Hood military base in Texas that left 13 people dead, making him eligible to become the first American soldier to be put to death in 52 years.
A panel of 13 military jurors found Maj. Nidal Hasan guilty of the deadly attack, which also left more than 30 people injured, and prosecutors plan to seek the death penalty when the trial enters the penalty phase, US media reported.
A US military judge earlier this year allowed Hasan, 42, to represent himself in the case, though he did not call a single witness to testify and questioned just three of the nearly 90 witnesses that prosecutors called to the stand, according to The Associated Press (AP).
Witnesses in the case said that Hasan yelled “Allahu akbar,” or “God is great” in Arabic, before opening fire on soldiers at a medical processing center at the base in the Nov. 5, 2009 attack.
Hasan, a US-born Muslim, indicated in media leaks and statements to the judge in the case that he believed the attack was justified in order to protect Muslim and Taliban leaders from US forces operating in Afghanistan and Iraq, the AP reported.
Prosecutors said Hasan launched the attack because he didn’t want to be sent to Afghanistan and that he believed he had a jihad duty to kill as many soldiers as possible.
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New ties between Russia and Japan would mark not only a breakthrough in their relations but also a significant shift in Northeast Asia’s political dynamic. Both are secondary players in a region overshadowed by an increasingly assertive China, which has not hesitated to push against the boundaries of its neighbors.