FORT HOOD, Texas (Reuters) - Prosecutors are expected to rest their case on Tuesday in the capital murder court-martial of a U.S. Army psychiatrist accused of opening fire on fellow unarmed soldiers at Fort Hood, killing 13 and wounding more than 30 in 2009.
Major Nidal Hasan, an American-born Muslim, has admitted in court to gunning down soldiers at a medical complex at the sprawling military base in central Texas, saying he switched sides in what he considered a U.S. war against Islam.
Hasan, 42, could face the death penalty if all 13 officers on the jury find him guilty of premeditated murder. He told mental health evaluators that he wanted to become a martyr as a result of his attack, court documents show.
Military officials said the prosecution is set to wrap up its case on Tuesday and turn it over to Hasan, who is defending himself. Lawyers assisting him say he is seeking the death penalty, but he denies this.
Hasan has listed one witness, whose name has not been released, officials said. He could take the stand in his own defense, but there has been no indication whether he would.
On Monday, the prosecution suffered a setback in the third week of testimony when evidence purporting to show how Hasan adopted a radical vision of Islam, including emails he exchanged with American cleric Anwar al-Awlaki, was blocked by military judge Colonel Tara Osborn.
Osborn barred testimony about correspondence between Hasan and al-Awlaki, the U.S.-born militant who was killed in a U.S. drone strike in Yemen in 2011, and with other militants.
More recent emails and Internet searches, however, could be admitted as evidence, Osborn ruled.
FBI Special Agent Charles Cox, a computer forensics expert who examined Hasan's laptop computer after his arrest, testified on Monday that there had been 28 searches for the word "Taliban" in the months leading up to the shooting, as well as repeated searches for the word "ammo."
Early in 2009, Internet searches on the computer contained phrases such as, "killing innocent Koran" and "killing innocent women and children Koran."
More than 75 witnesses have testified in the court-martial over the past two weeks, many describing in horrific detail the bloodbath in and around a medical building at Fort Hood on November 5, 2009.
Hasan, who was shot during the incident and is paralyzed, attends court in a wheelchair. He has requested frequent breaks in the testimony for rest and for prayer.
On Monday, Hasan questioned Staff Sergeant Juan Alvarado, who testified about witnessing the shooting, including an exchange of gunfire between Hasan and military officer Sergeant Kimberly Munley, who was wounded in the exchange.
"Were you watching the whole time while I and Sergeant Kimberly Munley were shooting at each other? You didn't look away at all?" Hasan asked.
"I was watching the whole time," Alvarado said.
(Editing by Dina Kyriakidou and Dan Grebler)
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