Fort Hood defendant loses bank account

July 30, 2010 at 3:38 PM
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FORT HOOD, Texas, July 30 (UPI) -- The lawyer representing the man accused of the Fort Hood shootings says Texas banks are refusing to accept his client's paychecks.

Bank of America closed U.S. Army Maj. Nidal Hasan's account last month and no other bank has agreed to open an account for him as he awaits court-martial for crimes including the deaths of 13 people.

Attorney John Galligan told the Austin (Texas) American-Statesman that the paycheck problem illustrates why he wants the pending trial moved to another venue.

"How do you expect me to get a fair trial at Fort Hood if he can't even get a bank account?" he asked.

The American-Statesman said Friday that Army regulations require soldiers awaiting court-martial to remain on the payroll. At the same time, the accused must have a bank account to receive direct deposits.

Representatives of various banks declined comment but banking experts told the newspaper that institutions are under no legal requirement to open an account for someone if they don't want to do business with them.

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