A U.S. military judge has ordered Army Staff Sergeant Robert Bales, accused of killing 16 Afghan civilians, to undergo an official sanity review.
Judge Jeffery Nance ruled in Seattle on January 17 that Bales must undergo the review before the court would accept any plea by him that he suffered from temporary insanity at the time of the crime.
The sanity review will be conducted by neutral doctors to determine Bale's mental state at the time of the massacre and whether he's competent to stand trial.
Bales' attorneys have said he may have sustained a traumatic brain injury from an improvised bomb explosion during one of his tours in Iraq.
Bales is charged with the premeditated murder of 16 civilians during a nighttime rampage through two villages in Kandahar Province in March 2012.
Based on reporting by AP and Reuters