Nation

Fort Hood suspect’s defense banned

FORT HOOD, Texas — An Army psychiatrist will not be allowed to tell jurors he gunned down Fort Hood soldiers to protect the lives of Taliban leaders in Afghanistan, a military judge ruled Friday.

Major Nidal Hasan’s ‘‘defense of others’’ strategy fails as a matter of law, Colonel Tara Osborn said during a 45-minute hearing. The defense strategy means a killing was necessary to prevent the immediate harm or death of others.

Osborn said no soldiers at the Texas Army post on Nov. 5, 2009, posed an immediate threat to anyone in Afghanistan. She said the legitimacy of the Afghanistan war is not an issue at Hasan’s trial, which has not started after being delayed for unresolved matters. She also ordered Hasan not present any evidence or arguments about his claims that deploying US troops posed an immediate threat to Taliban fighters.

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Hasan, an American-born Muslim, faces the death penalty or life without parole if convicted in the rampage that left 13 dead and nearly three dozen wounded.

Associated Press