AUSTIN, Texas (Reuters) - A military appeals court on Friday officially postponed the court martial for accused Fort Hood shooter Major Nidal Hasan while it decides if the trial judge can order his beard forcibly shaved, U.S. Army officials said on Friday.
Hasan is accused of opening fire at the deployment center at Fort Hood, Texas, on November 5, 2009. He is charged with 13 counts of premeditated murder and 32 counts of attempted premeditated murder in the shooting at the sprawling Central Texas complex.
He faces the death penalty if convicted of murder. A practicing Muslim, Hasan has grown a beard in preparation for his death, which he believes is "imminent," attorneys said.
Hasan's attorneys say the beard is an expression of his religious beliefs, but the unshorn facial hair is in violation of Army grooming regulations.
The Court of Appeal for the Armed Forces said all proceedings related to Hasan's case are off until further notice. July selection was set to begin on Monday.
(Reporting by Karen Brooks; Editing by Colleen Jenkins)
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