Defense lawyers in the trial of Noor Salman are asking for the case to be thrown out or declared a mistrial, arguing prosecutors failed to disclose that Pulse shooter Omar Mateen's father is a former confidential informant for the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
According to Salman's attorneys, prosecutors informed the defense over the weekend that the elder Mateen was an informant, which sent the defense scrambling to say the move was unconstitutional since prosecutors are compelled to turn over evidence that could be helpful to the defense.
Salman, 31, is charged with aiding and abetting her husband Omar Mateen in his attempt to provide material support to a terrorist organization, and obstruction of justice. Now Salman's lawyers are seeking a mistrial or dismissal of the charges against her.
"Alternatively, the FBI's purported interviews with Ms. Salman were directed to evading the negligence they exercised with their own informant", the motion says, and "to finding an additional culprit rather than their own informant". The admonishment came after the testimony of an Federal Bureau of Investigation agent who said he knew "within days" of Mateen attacking Pulse that it was "highly unlikely" that Mateen or his wife Salman had driven to scout out the location in the days before the attack, which contradicts a confession Salman allegedly gave to Federal Bureau of Investigation agents.
"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", Scheller wrote in the motion.
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"The judge has to digest everything that's in there and give the government chance to respond".
Her attorneys said if they knew about this information, they would have investigated whether Seddique Mateen was involved in or knew about his son's plans to commit a terror attack.
Prosecutors rested their case on Thursday.
Seddique Mateen was on the prosecution's witness list, but was not called to testify in the trial.
"They chose to protect their own informant and their own connection to Omar Mateen", Bedier said. The wording of the Saturday email, cited by the defense in its motion, suggests the government still doesn't want him to talk too much in front of the jury: "If you should call S. Mateen to the stand, the government will not seek to elicit any of this information from him", Sweeney wrote. The motion also said the government failed to inform Salman's defense that Seddique Mateen played a "significant role" in the FBI's 2013 investigation into threatening statements Omar Mateen made at work.