Pulse trial: Salman’s attorneys seek dismissal; gunman’s father was FBI informant

Credit: Joe Raedle

Credit: Joe Raedle

The attorneys for the widow of the gunman who killed 49 people at a Florida nightclub in 2016 filed a motion late Sunday night to dismiss the case, charging that new details from the prosecution revealed that Omar Mateen's father was an FBI informant.

Attorneys for Noor Salman presented their case Monday. Salman has pleaded not guilty to charges of aiding the support of a foreign terrorist organization resulting in death and obstruction of justice. The case hinges on whether Salman, 31, knowingly helped Mateen plan the June 12, 2016, attack at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando.

In addition to their Sunday request for dismissal, Salman's attorneys requested a mistrial as an alternative motion if a dismissal is not granted.

“Because the government violated Ms. Salman’s Fifth Amendment right to due process and Sixth Amendment right to a fair trial, this court must dismiss the government’s case. In the alternative, if this court does not dismiss this action, it should order a mistrial in order to safeguard these fundamental constitutional rights,” the motion read.

Salman's attorneys claim the government failed to disclose information about Mateen's father, Seddique Mateen.

The defense said it received an email from the government that mentioned the FBI was investigating Mateen.

The email went on to say that from January 2005 to June 2016, the FBI was using Mateen’s father as a confidential informant.

But following the Pulse attack, FBI agents searched his home and found receipts showing he transferred money to Turkey and Afghanistan in March and June before the Pulse attack.

The government said an anonymous tip revealed that Seddique Mateen wanted to raise up to $100,000 to help toward an attack against the government in Pakistan.

Defense attorneys said that receiving the information after prosecutors rested their case, is unfair to Salman.

“That is information that should have been disclosed. It raises a lot of questions about his role in the prior investigations of Omar Mateen himself. The FBI investigated Omar Mateen in 2013 and closed the file,” community activist Ahmed Bedier said. A former friend of Mateen, who the public knows as Nemo, testified Monday.

Nemo said he was shocked and horrified when he learned that Mateen used him as an excuse the night of the attack.

However, Nemo testified that he was not surprised because Mateen always used him as an excuse when he was “running around” on his wife.

Two women who had a relationship with Mateen also testified Monday. One woman said she met Mateen online, and that they had a physical relationship.

Two of Salman’s childhood friends testified that she was a peaceful person.

Salman's attorneys are revisiting statements made by key government witness, polygraph examiner, Ricardo Enriquez.

According to Enriquez, Salman told him that Omar Mateen left home with a gun placed in a holster on his hip before the attack.

The government then used those comments as evidence.

But defense attorneys said the government knew Mateen never left his home with his work gun holstered on his hip because they later found the holster while searching his home after the attack.

Salman faces life in prison if convicted.

About the Author