FORT HOOD (August 2, 2013)—After a delay Friday morning the trial judge in the Maj. Nidal Hasan hearing ruled on several issues that deal with admissibility of evidence in the upcoming court martial.
Hasan requested the delay because he was late arriving at the post courthouse.
Army judge Col. Tara Osborn ruled in favor of the government on some issues and reserved judgment on other issues during the hour-long morning hearing.
Osborn reserved ruling on a question about testimony from a police officer who has a severe speech impediment.
Prosecutors contend the testimony that officer gave during the previous Article 32 hearing should be used in court martial because the officer would be unavailable for an appearance.
Hasan told the judge he felt the officer should not be compelled to testify at all.
The judge then said there was no impairment in the officer’s memory and that there are other ways he could communicate besides speech.
Osborn directed the government and Hasan to reach an agreement on the officer’s testimony and report that during the final pre-trial hearing on Monday.
On the issue of admissibility of evidence involving Hasan’s search for Jihadist websites, the judge ruled prosecutors can introduce that evidence.
Osborn also heard several issues that go to motive evidence and she said the prosecution may not introduce evidence that Hasan sought help in changing his contentious objector status because of his Muslim faith.
Hasan commented during the hearing that Muslim soldiers should not be forced to deploy because they are likely to commit adverse behavior when deployed.
Prosecutors say they’ll present evidence that before Nov. 5, 2009, Hasan told an Army doctor, "They've got another think coming if they think they're gonna deploy me."
Osborn said that comment is admissible, but the fact that Hasan thought about exercising his right to contentious objector status might raise some prejudice issues at court martial.
The judge also ruled the fact that Hasan received notice of deployment just days before the mass shooting would be admissible in court.