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Noor Salman is acquitted in Pulse Nightclub shoot



Prosecutors relied on a confession issued by Ms. Salman F.B.I. Agents in which she admitted that she had known that her husband was acquiring weapons, watching videos of the Islamic State, and discussing possible locations in apparent preparation for the attack on June 12, 2016. Defense lawyers argued that Ms. Salman's statement, which was obtained after more than 11 hours of questioning without a lawyer present, was a false confession. Ms. Salman told the investigators that she and Mr. Mateen had targeted Pulse, but the investigators found no evidence to confirm that.

"She was a suspect and they wanted to confess ̵

1; only that she was still denying her. She knew everything," said a defender, Charles D. Swift, during his closing statement on Wednesday.

The jury was asked to decide if Ms. Salman had supported and supported her husband's support for a foreign terrorist organization.

Photo



Omar Mateen killed 49 people and wounded 53 others in an attack on an Orlando, Fla., Nightclub in June 2016.

Credit
via Associated Press

James D. Mandolfo, an American prosecutor, admitted in his opening speech on March 14 that the case against Ms. Salman was not a single incriminating fact, but related to the "totality" of the evidence to your support of Mr. Mateen.

Sara C. Sweeney, another US Attorney, presented the prosecution's closing ruling on Wednesday, pointing to unusually high spending and cash withdrawals by the pair in the eleven days before the shootout. together more than the $ 30,500 Mr. Mateen made as a security officer in a year. The couple, whose son was 3 years old at the time, also added Ms. Salman as a Death Beneficiary to Mr. Mateen's bank account, where she would soon expect a refund of federal income tax.

But the jury of seven women and five men seemed to have been persuaded by the defense that Mrs. Salman issued as a naive woman with limited intelligence, held in the dark by a scheming husband who cheated on her, knew her he did not share his radicalized views and did not need their help to carry out his deadly conspiracy. Her lawyers argued that Mr. Mateen had no reason to ask his wife for help – and Mrs. Salman had no reason to deliver it.

"Why should Omar Mateen confide in Noor, a woman he obviously has no respect for?" Linda Moreno, a defense lawyer, asked the jury.

In the hours leading up to the attack, Ms. Salman planned to visit family and friends in California, call for arrangements and gifts, and search for leather jackets online. She had dinner at Applebee and was at home in her pajamas to write her husband about his whereabouts until late at night.

Salman did not testify during the trial. On Wednesday, after eight days of testimony, Judge Paul G. Byron of the US District Court for the Central District of Florida asked Ms. Salman if the silence had been her decision. "Yes," she answered.

The trial that took Pulse victims and their families to federal court in downtown Orlando included a graphic video of the nightclub massacre recorded by surveillance cameras, police cameras, and cell phones] After prosecutors rested their case, They revealed to the defense that Mr. Mateen's father, Seddique Mateen, had been an FBI spy at various times from January 2005 until the time of the attack. He is currently in a criminal investigation for financial transfers to Turkey and Afghanistan shortly before the shooting.

The closing remarks of both the prosecution and the defense related to the three statements made by Ms Salman to the F.B.I. The statements did not make any audio or video recordings, and they only wrote part of themselves; the remainder was dictated to a F.B.I. Agent and initialed by Mrs. Salman.

In it, she admitted she should have reported her husband's suspicious activity. "I wish I had done the right thing, but my fear kept me back," she wrote. "I wish I had been truthful."

A defense expert testified that Ms. Salman was very vulnerable to intimidation. Moreno, the defense attorney, suggested that Ms. Salman's words, especially about Pulse's housing with Mr. Mateen, had been "planted". GPS data from her cell phone later showed that she had not driven with her husband through the nightclub.

The defense alleged that Ms. Salman mentioned Pulse under duress because the investigators were looking for someone responsible for the case. But on Wednesday, Ms. Sweeney offered a new statement: Ms. Salman falsely thought that Pulse was at the Disney World theme park the couple visited.

"He did not want to go to Pulse Nightclub," wife. Sweeney said. "Instead, the target of his attack was Disney."

Mrs. Sweeney offered a particularly frightening detail and suggested that Mr. Mateen bought a stroller and a doll from a Walmart the night before the massacre so he could hide his AR -15 assault rifle and not arouse suspicion when He approached what the prosecutors consider his intended destination, the Disney Springs shopping and entertainment complex, formerly known as Downtown Disney.

On the night of the attack, Mr. Mateen went to the House of Blues at Disney Springs, showing GPS data and surveillance footage. Terrified by the heavy security, he got back in his rental bus and searched for the night clubs in downtown Orlando at Google. The second hit was Pulse, a gay nightclub with a popular Latin Saturday night.

"It's a terrible, random, pointless killing by a monster, but it was not planned," Mr. Swift said. "And if he did not know, she could not know."

Mr. Mateen did not seem to realize that it was a gay nightclub. When he arrived, Ms. Moreno said, citing a trial witness, Mr. Mateen asked a security guard where the girls were. Moments later he opened the fire.

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