US & Canada

Fort Hood prosecutors rest case against Major Nidal Hasan

In this courtroom sketch defence witness Stephen Bennett, right, testifies as Maj Nidal Malik Hasan, left, and presiding judge Col. Tara Osborn look on in court during Hasan's court-martial in Fort Hood, Texas on 20 August 2013
Image caption Major Nidal Hasan listens as a witness testifies on Tuesday

US military prosecutors have concluded their case against the man who admits killing 13 soldiers during the 2009 attack at Fort Hood Army base in Texas.

Major Nidal Hasan, defending himself, mentioned no plans to call witnesses as court resumes on Wednesday.

His court-appointed lawyers, whom he has barely used, have argued he is intent on getting the death penalty.

The 42-year-old Army psychiatrist has said he carried out the attack in defence of his Islamist ideals.

As prosecutors rested their case on Tuesday, having called nearly 90 witnesses in 11 days, Judge Colonel Tara Osborn reminded Maj Hasan that it was within his rights to ask her to rule he was not guilty, on the grounds that the prosecution had not proven its case.

But he declined to do so.

Judge Osborn then adjourned the court.

"We'll resume tomorrow with the defence's case, if any," she said.

Virginia-born Maj Hasan, who was shot during the attack and is paralysed, attends court in a wheelchair.

He has requested frequent breaks in the testimony for rest and for prayer.

If Maj Hasan is to face execution, the case would automatically go to the military appeals courts, which have overturned most death sentences they have reviewed.

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