Sgt. Hasan Akbar, Muslim American soldier, killed two colleagues and wounded 14 other troops after tossing grenades into tents while soldiers slept at Camp Pennsylvania in Kuwait on March 23, 2003. He wrote in his diary: “I am going to try and kill as many of them as possible.”
The death sentence for convicted murderer Sgt. Hasan Akbar was approved late last week at Fort Bragg, N.C., by Lt. Gen. John R. Vines, commander if XXVIII Airborne Corps and court martial convening authority in the case.
Akbar was sentenced to death in April 2005 by unanimous vote of a military panel for the March 23, 2003, grenade attack that killed Capt. Christopher Seifert and Maj. Gregory Stone.
The grenade attack, which also wounded 14 others, took place at Camp Pennsylvania in Kuwait, where the 1st Brigade Combat Team, 101st Airborne Division, was preparing to cross the berm into Iraq.
Akbar lobbed grenades into three tents while members of the brigade slept, and then fired shots at those who emerged from the smoky blasts.
Approval of the death penalty means that Akbar’s case will automatically go to appeal and be reviewed by the U.S. Army Court of Criminal Appeals, the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Armed Forces, and ultimately could end up at the U.S. Supreme Court.
“He can’t be executed until the president gives a firm OK,” said military law expert Eugene Fidell, who is not involved in the Akbar case.
However, he added, Akbar’s case will likely be in appeals for some time to come.
“Experience teaches that this case will not be over while Mr. Bush is in office,” Fidell said.