Regional
12:26 pm
Thu April 28, 2005

Akbar Apologizes For Killings

Fort Bragg, NC – Sergeant Hasan Akbar quickly and quietly apologized Thursday for a fatal grenade attack on his comrades, making a statement to a jury that's about to decide whether he lives or dies.
Akbar spoke to the panel from the witness stand for less than a minute before the defense rested at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. He spoke in such a low voice that even prosecutors sitting nearby had trouble hearing him.
Defense lawyer Major David Coombs called Akbar the the stand and said he'd advised his client against speaking to the jury. Coombs says he told Akbar it was better to give the jury a written statement, but Akbar wanted to speak to the jurors because he felt a written statement would seem like an excuse.
Akbar is a member of the 101st Airborne Division based at Fort Campbell. He was found guilty last week in an attack that killed two officers and wounded 14 other soldiers in Kuwait before the start of the Iraq war.
Jurors were to hear instructions from a military judge and closing arguments before beginning their sentencing deliberations.