By Bernie Woodall
DETROIT (Reuters) - A Nigerian man accused of trying to blow up an airliner near Detroit with an explosive hidden in his underwear has asked to be judged by the Koran rather than U.S. law, documents filed with a federal court in Michigan show.
A handwritten request by Umar Farouk Abdulmutallab, 24, asks U.S. District Judge Nancy G. Edmunds to free him from federal prison because he "believes that all Muslims should only be ruled by the law of the Quran."
Edmunds will rule on that motion and five others at a pretrial hearing on September 14, a spokesman for the district court said on Friday. Abdulmutallab filed the requests on Thursday.
Jury selection is set for October 4 for Abdulmutallab's trial on charges of trying to blow up a Northwest Airlines flight from Amsterdam as it neared Detroit on December 25, 2009.
"The Defendant is being unjustly detained in the United States of America, and subjected to the Rule of Man," the note from Abdulmutallab to the court said.
Abdulmutallab will represent himself during his trial and be advised by a court-appointed "stand-by" attorney, Anthony Chambers.
Edmunds issued a 13-page order on Friday outlining the role of Chambers at the trial. Prosecutors had asked Edmunds to rule that Chambers would not be allowed to sit at the defense table with Abdulmutallab. She ruled on Friday that Chambers can sit with Abdulmutallab.
In a second handwritten filing from Abdulmutallab on Thursday, he claimed that guards at the federal prison in Milan, Michigan used excessive force to restrain him after he "assaulted several officers" on Wednesday.
The filing asks the court to order federal guards not to use excessive force on Abdulmutallab. Court documents do not indicate what led up to the alleged Wednesday incident.
The lithe Abdulmutallab said in the court filing that he was in a closed cell at the time of the incident.
This request will also be considered by Edmunds on September 14.
On Christmas Day 2009, the day he was arrested after the Northwest jetliner landed safely at the Detroit airport, Abdulmutallab sustained burns on his legs and groin, and he was briefly hospitalized.
The 24-year-old told investigators at one point that he received the bomb, which failed to detonate fully, from al Qaeda militants in Yemen.
He also told investigators that he picked the flight to Detroit because it was cheaper than flying to other U.S. destinations he considered.
Other motions to be considered on September 14 by Edmunds include those for a change of venue and for suppression of Abdulmutallab's statements made to investigators while he was in the hospital and at the federal prison in Milan.