Hearing scheduled regarding Noor Salman mental evaluation documents

Hearing scheduled regarding Noor Salman mental evaluation documents

Noor Salman appeared in federal court Wednesday in California.

Courtesy: Vicki Behringer

ORLANDO, Fla. — The defense team for the wife of the Pulse shooter is scheduled to be in court next week because it is behind schedule in filing documents.

Noor Salman is accused of aiding and abetting a terrorist, and obstruction of justice.

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According to court documents, her lawyers have failed to comply with scheduling orders when it comes to an expert witness.

They now have to explain to a judge why they believe they shouldn’t be sanctioned.

Earlier this month, a judge granted federal prosecutors' request to have the Salman undergo a psychiatric or psychological examination, and as part of the order barred her attorneys from being present.

Prosecutors requested the examination because Salman's attorneys plan to use a “mental condition” as a defense in court, records said.

According to an order filed in Orlando federal court, the defense and prosecution agreed that Salman's attorneys would not be allowed to attend the examination.

Her attorneys filed a motion that said Salman has PTSD and that attorneys intend to present a defense "relating to a mental disease or defect or any other mental condition of the defendant bearing on... the issue of guilt."

Salman's defense said they intend to offer evidence of her mental conditions while she was interrogated by law enforcement about what she knew or didn't know about the Pulse attack.

Salman is charged with aiding and abetting her husband, Omar Mateen, and obstructing law enforcement. She has pleaded not guilty and is set to go on trial in March.

Forty-nine patrons were killed and dozens were injured in the massacre, which was the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history.

Investigators accuse Salman of knowing about the attack and traveling with her husband to Central Florida to scout possible locations prior to the June 12, 2016, shooting rampage.

Salman's attorneys argue that she doesn't have the mental capacity to understand such things.

Records said the government’s expert plans to conduct the evaluation during the week of Aug. 7. Sept. 1 is the deadline for rebuttal expert reports.

The person examining Salman must be a "suitably licensed psychologist or psychiatrist," the order filed Tuesday said.

The psychologist or psychiatrist can record the examination via audio or video, but does not have to, the order said.

Salman's uncle, Al Salman, has previously said his niece was a "simple and innocent" woman who was physically and mentally abused by Mateen.

The prosecution's examination will help determine if that is the case or not, WFTV legal analyst Bill Schaffer said.

"You bet that the government wants their expert to examine her to make sure she's not faking it, (that) she's not malingering," he said.

"Accordingly, no further limitations on the examination are imposed on the expert for the United States," the order said.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.