• December 20, 2014

Hasan’s defense says little

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Posted: Tuesday, November 16, 2010 12:00 pm | Updated: 2:13 pm, Thu Jan 23, 2014.

By Amanda Kim Stairrett

Killeen Daily Herald

FORT HOOD - The defense's portion of Maj. Nidal Hasan's Article 32 hearing lasted two minutes Monday.

The hearing resumed after recessing Oct. 21 with the conclusion of the prosecution's presentation of evidence.

The defense team declined to present evidence Monday and Hasan, when asked if he was going to present a statement, answered: "No."

The Article 32 hearing officer, Col. James Pohl, concluded proceedings at 9:06 a.m.: "This hearing is closed."

An Article 32 is like a grand jury in that it determines whether there is enough evidence for the case to advance to a court-martial.

Pohl will next make a recommendation based on evidence he heard from Army prosecutors to Col. Morgan Lamb, the special court-martial convening authority. Lamb also leads Fort Hood's 21st Cavalry Brigade.

It will then be announced whether Hasan's case will proceed to a court-martial. He is charged with 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder in the Nov. 5, 2009, shooting at Fort Hood's Soldier Readiness Processing Center.

There is no time limit on when the determination can be made, according to Fort Hood officials.

Hasan's lead attorney, retired Col. John Galligan, said after the hearing closed the defense didn't present a case Monday because it hadn't received relevant evidence lawyers needed. That evidence, Galligan said, is information from several Defense Department and White House investigations into Hasan, his Army career and the shooting.

Galligan has requested the information since it was announced late last year. He was in favor of news in April that the Senate Homeland Security Committee subpoenaed the Obama administration to find out if the government had information to prevent the shooting.

"Whatever their intent is, they're asking for the same information I've been asking for for five months: information related to (Hasan's) time in Washington, to his e-mails," Galligan said in April. "This is great, this is exactly what we've been asking for."

Galligan was denied access to the reports, he said, because they contain classified material. He has asked for security clearance to review them, he said.

Prosecutors told Pohl during the hearing last month they received a letter from the White House denying requests to its report. Galligan said he was provided that letter 10 minutes before court Monday.

Its contents continue to reaffirm issues that have troubled Galligan from the beginning, he said, concerning "evidence out there not yet furnished to the defense."

Galligan continued to question the fairness in the government's handling of Hasan's case. The Article 32 is a discovery tool for the defense, Galligan said, and that is hard to accomplish when "you don't get what you believe is relevant."

While the prosecution focused its presentation last month on Hasan's actions after arriving at Fort Hood last summer, Galligan said the context and events leading up to that arrival and Nov. 5 were relevant to his case. Much of that information, including Hasan's job-performance evaluations, is contained in the reports.

Contact Amanda Kim Stairrett at astair@kdhnews.com or (254) 501-7547. Follow her on Twitter at KDHmilitary or www.facebook.com/astairrett.

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