By Jim Kouri
The trial of radical Islamist, U.S. Army psychiatrist Major Nidal Hasan, charged with the killing 12 soldiers and a civilian employee at Fort Hood, Texas in 2009, will start as originally scheduled on Aug. 20, according to military officials at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba on Friday.
The military judge, Army Col. Gregory Gross, denied Hasan’s legal team’s motion to delay the start of the trial until December 2012, the Pentagon’s American Forces Press Service reported.
Gross also endured extensive questioning by self-styled jihadi Hasan’s defense counsel regarding allegations Gross is biased against the defendant. Gross ruled that he was not biased and that no implied bias exists.
But following the ruling, defense attorneys stated they plan to appeal the decision to the Army Court of Criminal Appeals.
Hasan, a Palestinian American radicalized Muslim, was not physically in court but watched the courtroom hearing on a closed-circuit television monitor in a military trailer adjacent to the court building.
Hasan’s shooting rampage, the worst terrorist attack at any U.S. military base in U.S. history, occurred on Nov. 5, 2009 at the Fort Hood military base, the largest and most populated U.S. military installation in the world.
Besides the 13 people killed during the Islamist’s bloody rampage, 30 other soldiers at Fort Hood were wounded by Hasan, who is paralyzed from the chest down after a female police officer shot and wounded him.
According to prosecutors, prior to the killing spree, Maj. Hasan frequently communicated with Yemen-based cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, himself a radicalized American Muslim.
Nidal Hasan is charged with 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted murder. According to military officials, he faces the death penalty if convicted of the charges