The US Army psychiatrist accused of a massacre on a Texas military base was fined $1,000 Friday for refusing to shave before a military hearing.
Major Nidal Hasan, who could face the death penalty if convicted, is accused of opening fire at the Fort Hood army base on November 5, 2009, in an attack that killed 12 soldiers and a civilian, and wounded 32 others.
The shooting jolted the US military and prompted calls for stronger safeguards against possible internal security threats and “homegrown” terror attacks.
Military Judge Colonel Gregory Gross has warned Hasan that he could be forcibly shaved if he continues to ignore grooming standards.
He held Hasan in contempt of court when he arrived at Friday’s hearing with a beard and fined him $1,000, prosecutors said.
His next hearing is scheduled for Thursday and the court-martial is scheduled to begin on August 20.
The FBI alleges Hasan had contacts with firebrand US-born cleric Anwar al-Awlaqi, a key leader of Al-Qaeda in the Arabian Peninsula who was killed in a September 2011 drone strike.
The Yemeni-based cleric was also believed to have been instrumental in planning the botched plot by a Nigerian student dubbed the “underwear bomber” who tried to blow up a US-bound airliner on December 25, 2009.
Hasan, who was born in Virginia to Palestinian parents and raised in the eastern state, had attended a mosque in 2001 where Awlaqi worked and is believed to have continued to communicate with the radical cleric.
Set to deploy to Afghanistan weeks after the massacre, Hasan was shot by police officers as they tried to halt the carnage. He was left paralyzed from the neck down.