The founder of an Islam-oriented television station who is accused of beheading his wife says he was abused by her for years, according to his attorney Frank Bogulski. “He was the victim. The spouse was the dominant figure in this relationship. She was verbally abusive. She had humiliated him.”
Defense attorneys’ claims that Muzzammil Hassan was victimized by his wife drew a blunt response from District Attorney Frank Sedita after a hearing Friday. “He chopped her head off,” Sedita said. “He chopped her head off. That’s all I have to say about Mr. Hassan’s apparent defense that he was a battered spouse.”
Hassan fired the attorney who has been representing him for nearly a year and replaced him with a lawyer who promised “a revolutionary defense” at the March trial.
Hassan, 45, is charged with one count of second-degree murder in the Feb. 12 death of 37-year-old Aasiya Hassan at the offices of Bridges TV, the station the Pakistan-born couple established in 2004 to counter negative stereotypes of Muslims. (Oh, that’s rich)
Nancy Sanders, a former news director at Bridges TV, was skeptical of the abuse claim, noting the stocky Hassan stood over 6 feet tall and “filled a doorway,” while Aasiya was slender and several inches shorter. “I never ever heard her disparage him in the workplace at all,” Sanders said. “It just did not seem to be in her nature. She was very gentle.”
The way she died led the state president of the National Organization for Women, Marcia Pappas, and others to label Aasiya Hassan’s death an “honor killng,” which Pappas said appeared to be rooted in Muslim notions about women’s subordination to men. Harrington dismissed the theory early on and domestic violence advocates cautioned against shifting attention from the universal issue of violence against women. LINK
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