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Hearing Begins In Case Of Accused Fort Hood Killer


Major Nidal Malik Hasan
A U.S. military tribunal has opened a hearing to decide if an Army major should stand trial for last year's shooting spree at the Fort Hood base in Texas that killed 13 people and left more than 40 others wounded.

The accused, Major Nidal Malik Hasan, an Army psychiatrist, was left paralyzed by bullet wounds inflicted after he allegedly opened fire at the base on November 5, 2009.

The so-called "Article 32" hearing is the U.S. military's equivalent of a grand jury hearing to determine if there is enough evidence to bring Hasan, 40, to trial.

The hearing is expected to include testimony from Army personnel who witnessed the shooting rampage.

Hasan, who faces 13 counts of premeditated murder, is alleged to have links to Islamic extremism, including contact with an Al-Qaeda-linked cleric based in Yemen.

Many soldiers who have been based at Fort Hood have deployed to the conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq.

compiled from agency reports