• Noor Salman trial: Judge denies attorneys' request for dismissal, mistrial

    By: Kelly Healey , Jason Kelly

    Updated:

    ORLANDO, Fla. - The attorneys for the widow of Pulse Orlando gunman Omar Mateen presented their case Monday and are expected to rest their case Tuesday.

     

    Noor 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, nightclub attack that left 49 people dead. 

     

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    Judge Paul Byron on Monday denied a motion filed by Salman's attorneys late Sunday to dismiss the case or to declare a mistrial.

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

    “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.

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    But Byron disagreed, saying that the case is about Salman, Seddique Mateen.

    "It doesn't change the dynamic about this case involving Noor Salman," he said.

     

    The defense stated it received an email from the government that mentioned the FBI was investigating Seddique 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.

     

    Photos: Courtroom sketches of Noor Salman trial

     

    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. "It was the FBI's failure to hold Omar Mateen accountable."

    Richard Conner, who analyzed Salman's and Omar Mateen's cellphones and tracked pings from cell towers, testified that it appeared Mateen wasn't sure what club to attack.

    Read: Who are the key players in Noor Salman's case?

    Google Maps data showed Mateen traveling from Disney Springs to International Drive to downtown Orlando's EVE nightclub before ending at Pulse.

    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 Mateen 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.

    Abdallah Salman, Noor Salman's uncle, testified that his niece is peaceful and childlike. He said outside the courthouse that he's confident his niece will be acquitted.

    "I'm just waiting for that moment to finish the trial and show that she's innocent, so I can tell everybody, 'I told you so. She's innocent. She will be home,'" he said.

     

    Read: 9 facts about Noor Salman

     

    Special Agent Martin testified Monday that he investigated Omar Mateen after he claimed to be part of Muslim terror groups. Mateen told the FBI he was feeling harassed at work when he made those statements.

     

    Omar Mateen was interviewed three times, and Martin said Salman was in and out of rooms in their apartment during questioning, but during the third interview, she was mainly in the kitchen.

     

    The State Attorney's Office decided not to file charges against Omar Mateen for lying, and at one point, Martin said he considered having Mateen as an informant.

     

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

     

    Read: Agent testifies about what he found on gunman's phone at Pulse

     

    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 Omar 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. Jurors could begin deliberating the case as soon as Wednesday.

     

    Read: Salman's attorneys ask judge to dismiss charges

     

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