Hasan says he may hire Ramsey Clark to defend him

July 2, 2013 at 4:26 PM   |   Comments

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FORT HOOD, Texas, July 2 (UPI) -- U.S. Army Maj. Nidal Hasan told a military judge he may hire former U.S. Attorney General Ramsey Clark to defend him in his court-martial on murder charges.

Hasan -- who had been represented by military-appointed civilian lawyers before he decided he would represent himself -- declined to enter a plea Tuesday, instead telling a judge he wanted Clark to take his case, the Austin American-Statesman reported.

Clark, who was attorney general under former U.S. President Lyndon Johnson, was a member of an international team that defended former Iraqi President Saddam Hussein.

Col. Tara Osborn, the judge at Fort Hood, said Hasan's request -- one week before jury selection is scheduled to begin -- was "untimely" and "obstructionist" but ruled Hasan may have any attorney he chooses as long as the defense is ready for jury selection to begin July 9, the newspaper reported.

"My ruling is that I will not continue this case past July 9 for a change of counsel," Osborn told Hasan.

Osborn entered a plea of not guilty for Hasan -- charged with 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder in a Nov. 5, 2009, shooting spree at Fort Hood.

Osborn previously declined to allow Hasan to enter a guilty plea or to employ a "defense of others" argument that the shooting at Fort Hood was intended to protect Taliban leaders in Afghanistan from harm.

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