Attorneys for the widow of the Pulse nightclub shooter, Noor Salman, called for a dismissal of charges or a mistrial in her case. They say that new details from prosecutors reveal that the gunman Omar Mateen’s father was an FBI informant and he is currently under criminal investigation.
According to a motion filed by Salman’s defense, the Assistant U.S. Attorney Sara Sweeney sent an email on Saturday to the defense team that stated Seddique Mateen, the gunman’s father, was a confidential FBI source from 2005 through 2016.
The email also stated that Mateen was being investigated for money transfers from Turkey to Pakistan after documents were found in his home on June 12th of 2016. That was the day of the Pulse nightclub shooting.
The dates of the transfer of funds were between March 16, 2016, and June 5, 2016, according to the email.
This news could possibly threaten the case against Salman, the wife of the shooter, who is on trial for charges related to the massacre at the nightclub in Florida. Her defense attorneys maintain that failure to disclose this information violated her due process rights. They argue that they would have taken a different legal strategy if they had known this previously.
Salman faces charges of providing material support to a foreign terrorist organization and obstruction of justice. Prosecutors say she knew about the impending massacre. Salman has pleaded not guilty to the charges, and her defense team has cast her as a victim rather than an accomplice.
On Monday, the defense began their case and the judge said that he will take up the defense’s motion this evening.
Prosecutors informed Salman’s counsel about Seddique Mateen’s FBI status on Saturday, which was more than a week after the trial began and after the prosecution rested its case.
“I have just received authorization to disclose the following information about Seddique Mateen,” the email says, according to the defense motion. “If you should call S. Mateen to the stand, the government will not seek to elicit any of this information from him.”
Salman’s defense believes that the late revelation of this information is unconstitutional, they cite the 1963 Supreme Court case Brady v. Maryland. This case ruled that prosecutors must turn over evidence that could be favorable to the accused over to the defense.
“It is apparent from the Government’s belated disclosure that Ms. Salman has been defending a case without a complete set of facts and evidence that the Government was required to disclose,” her attorneys wrote.
The attorneys went further writing that if they had known about Seddique Mateen’s FBI status, they may have argued one of two theories:
“1) Omar Mateen and his father, rather than Ms. Salman, conspired to support ISIS; or 2) the FBI’s focus on Ms. Salman was based on its own motive to avoid responsibility for its failures with its own informant, Seddique Mateen, as well as his son.”
Seddique Mateen, originally from Afghanistan, spoke to CNN’s Don Lemon after the nightclub shooting by his son and said this:
“I’m as shocked as you are because I didn’t notice, as I said always in the past two days, I didn’t notice anything, irregular behavior on his part or emotional behavior on his part,” Seddique Mateen said. “He didn’t get my attention just being not normal. If I did notice that, I would have (taken) care of him myself, I would have called law enforcement.”
“His act was a terror act, but as far him being a terrorist. I’m not aware of,” Seddique Mateen said. “This is the worst thing that can happen for a father to see a son act like this.”
Watch the clip below and let us know what you think about her case.