Akbar Case Headed For Appeal

November 21st, 2006  
Team Infidel

Topic: Akbar Case Headed For Appeal

Fayetteville (NC) Observer
November 20, 2006
By Justin Willett, Staff writer
The commander of Fort Bragg on Friday affirmed the sentence of an Army sergeant condemned to die for killing two officers and wounding 14 others during a 2003 grenade and rifle attack in Kuwait.
Sgt. Hasan Akbar was convicted April 21, 2005, of killing Army Capt. Chris Seifert and Air Force Maj. Gregory Stone and wounding 14 others during a March 23, 2003, attack on officers’ tents at Camp Pennsylvania in Kuwait.
Seifert, 27, and Stone, 40, were part of the 101st Airborne Division’s 1st Brigade Combat Team, which was preparing to move into Iraq to join the war. Akbar was sentenced to die April 28, 2005.
Lt. Gen. John R. Vines, commander of the 18th Airborne Corps and Fort Bragg, had to affirm the death sentence before the case could be appealed.
It now goes to the Army Court of Criminal Appeals and then to the Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces. Akbar also has the option to petition the U.S. Supreme Court for review. There hasn’t been a military execution since 1961.
Akbar, who is 35, was the first person to be sentenced to military death row since 1996.
Akbar did not deny responsibility for the attacks. Rather, his lawyers argued that Akbar was mentally ill, wasn’t fit to serve in the Army and never should have been sent to Kuwait.
Akbar shot Seifert point-blank in the back with an M-4 rifle. Stone was hit by 83 pieces of shrapnel from the fragmentary grenade Akbar threw into his tent.
Akbar’s attack came in the early days of the war in Iraq as the unit was preparing to move toward Baghdad.
Some of the wounded officers testified during Akbar’s court-martial at Fort Bragg that two years later they still suffered physically and emotionally.
Prosecutors highlighted excerpts from Akbar’s diary, which appeared to show that he was angry and vengeful on the eve of his deployment.
“I will have to decide to kill my Muslim brothers fighting for Saddam Hussein or my battle buddies,” Akbar wrote Feb. 2, 2003. “I am hoping to get into a position so I don’t have to take any crap from anyone anymore.”
Before he was sentenced Akbar made brief remarks to the 15-member military panel that decided his fate.
“I want to apologize for the attack that occurred,” Akbar said in a barely audible voice. “I felt that my life was in jeopardy, and I had no other options. I also want to ask you for forgiveness.”
Abkar’s case was transferred to Fort Bragg because the 18th Airborne Corps was the higher headquarters of the 101st Airborne Division.

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