Witnesses not allowed to call Hasan a terrorist during trial

Posted at 5:04 PM, Jul 18, 2013
and last updated 2013-07-19 08:11:55-04

Accused Fort Hood shooter Major Nidal Hasan appeared back in court today, this time, fighting over witness testimonies.

The defense wants the prosecution to submit written summaries of what the witnesses will say when they take the stand during the sentencing phase of the trial.   Hasan asked for standby counsel Col.. Kris Poppe to litigate the matter on his behalf.

Col.. Poppe told the court that the defense is not concerned about who will testify, but what they will say when they sit on the witness stand. The summaries will help them determine if they object to the testimonies before prior to the sentencing phase, which will ultimately help save time. 

The defense made it clear that they plan to request a special hearing to address the objections if necessary.

However, lead prosecution attorney Col.. Mike Mulligan believes the government shouldn't have to submit the testimonies because they can assure what their witnesses will say when they testify.

He told the court the witnesses, who are made up of victims and family members of those killed, will not be able to call Maj. Hasan a terrorist. They have also been warned not to lash out at the accused Fort Hood shooter, and are well aware of the consequences if they do.

Military judge Col.. Tara Osborn decided to wait to rule on this motion, and finish litigation at the next pre-trial hearing on Thursday, July 25.

The defense filed the motion on victim impact evidence on August 30, 2012, when military judge Col.  Gregory Gross waited to let both sides litigate on the issue.

The judge also established Hasan had sufficient access to resources to prepare his defense and instructed Hasan on how to properly conduct his opening statement. 

Osborn ruled that the government is not allowed to use an FBI video during their opening statement. 

Jury selection was completed earlier this week.  The panel will convene on Aug. 5 to allow time to conduct additional questioning in the event a current panel member becomes unavailable. 

The court martial is scheduled to begin August 6.