He worked as an FBI informant from 2005 to 2016.
Well, this literally came out of nowhere and who expected this? The defense team for Noor Salman, the wife of the Pulse nightclub shooter Omar Mateen, claimed that prosecutors never told them Mateen’s father worked as an FBI informant.
Now they are seeking a mistrial or dismissal for their client.
Background: Omar killed 49 people in the summer of 2016 at the gay club Pulse in Orlando, FL. The police questioned Salman after the attack and then she left Orlando with their four-year-old son and settled in San Francisco. Authorities arrested Salman in January 2017 and charged her “with obstruction of justice and abetting the attempted provision of material support to a foreign terrorist organization.” Her husband swore allegiance to ISIS.
But that may not happen now since the defense claims that the prosecution never told them that
From The Orlando Sentinel:
Mateen’s father was also investigated after agents assigned to the shooting investigation found receipts for money transfers to Turkey and Afghanistan, according to a motion filed Sunday by Salman’s defense.
Prosecutors didn’t share that information with defense lawyers, they say, in the case against Mateen’s widow, Salman. Now Salman’s lawyers are seeking a mistrial or dismissal of the charges against her.
The motion comes as Salman’s lawyers are slated to begin presenting their case this morning after government prosecutors rested Thursday.
Mateen’s father, Seddique Mateen, was on the government’s witness list but was never called to testify. His wife, Shahla Mateen, testified. According to the newly filed motion, Seddique Mateen acted as an informant at various points in time between January 2005 and June 2016.
Prosecutor Sara Sweeney emailed the defense on Saturday with the information. The defense claims that the prosecution “violated an evidence disclosure law by not informing them sooner.”
The defense team cited the 1963 Supreme Court case Brady v. Maryland, which established that the prosecution must hand over all evidence to the defense that might exonerate the defendant. From ClickOrlando:
The government email to Salman’s attorneys also states that in 2012, “An anonymous tip indicated that Seddique Mateen was seeking to raise $50,000-$100,000 via a donation drive to contribute toward an attack against the government of Pakistan.”
According to the motion, the defense states that the decision not to give Noor Salman a polygraph was possibly “based on the FBI’s desire to implicate Noor Salman, rather than Seddique Mateen in order to avoid scrutiny of its own ineptitude with the latter.”
If they had this information, the defense said “they may have argued one of two theories with ‘strong support.'” For instance:
“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,” Salman’s attorneys write.
The defense also stated that Seddique’s work with the FBI caused the agency to determine the route to take in 2013 during an investigation when Omar allegedly threatened his coworkers:
“Mateen’s father played a significant role in the FBI’s decision not to seek an indictment from the Justice Department for false statements to the FBI or obstruction of justice against Omar Mateen” during its 2013 investigation into his alleged threats,” the motion stated.
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