PULSE NIGHTCLUB ATTACK Judge rules against shooter’s widow
The revelation that the Pulse nightclub shooter’s father was an FBI informant for 11 years before the attack has little bearing on the trial of the gunman’s widow, a judge ruled Monday.
U.S. District Judge Paul Byron rejected a defense motion for a mistrial of Noor Salman, who is accused of helping her husband plan his June 2016 mass shooting at the gay nightclub in Orlando, where he killed 49 people.
Lawyers for Salman said that because prosecutors didn’t disclose that Mateen’s father, Seddique Mateen, was an FBI informant until halfway through the trial, her Fifth Amendment right to due process and Sixth Amendment right to a fair trial were denied.
The judge disagreed.
“This trial is not about Seddique Mateen. It’s about Noor Salman,” the judge said.
Salman, now 31 and the mother of a small child, is being tried in federal court in Orlando. Her defense is scheduled to wrap up this week and lawyers will give closing arguments.
In court Monday, an FBI agent testified that they considered trying to develop Omar Mateen as an informant, like his father, after investigating him in 2013 and finding he didn’t have ties to terrorism.
Salman’s lawyers say the government’s belated disclosure about Mateen’s father and his ties to the FBI has prevented them from exploring the possibilities that Seddique Mateen was more directly involved, and that Salman may have been framed to hide the government’s mistakes.