Regional
11:54 am
Mon April 18, 2005

Defense Begins In Akbar Trial

Fort Bragg, NC – Defense lawyers are presenting their case for the 101st Airborne Division sergeant accused of killing two officers in a Kuwait grenade attack two years ago.
The first witness for Sgt. Hasan Akbar is a psychologist who says the defendant had been diagnosed with mental problems as early as the age of 14.
Dr. Fred Tuton of Baton Rouge, Louisiana, says he interviewed Akbar in 1986 after local child protection officials sent him for an evaluation following molestation of his 4 year old sister by his step-father. Tuton says Akbar never smiled during the evaluation which he considered significant.
Tuton also says Akbar had identity problems and that he felt guilt because he didn't keep his sister from being abused. Akbar was the oldest of five children.
Akbar is accused of ambushing his fellow soldiers in their tents in Kuwait in March 2003, during the opening days of the Iraq war.
The court-martial is being held at Fort Bragg, North Carolina. The 101st Airborne is based at Fort Campbell.