Thursday, 26 April, 2018

Noor Salman, widow of Orlando nightclub shooter cleared of all charges

Pulse nightclub shooter's initial target was Disney site, prosecutors say Noor Salman, widow of Pulse nightclub gunman, found not guilty
Heather Davidson | 02 April, 2018, 11:21

A Florida jury on Friday acquitted Noor Salman - the widow of Pulse nightclub gunman Omar Mateen - as an accomplice in the attack.

The FBI arrested Salman in January of past year on a charge of obstruction of justice and "aiding and abetting by providing material support to a foreign terrorist organization", according to Orlando Police Chief John Mina. She said she wanted to see Noor Salman and look her in the eye and talk to her about what kind of impact this tragedy has had on people like her family.

Prosecutors said Salman also apologized in the statement for "not [being] truthful in the start about what Omar was planning". Her uncles and aunt also spoke, and said the family is sorry for the family, friends and survivors of the attack. She was arrested months after the incident on suspicion of obstruction of justice and aiding her husband in providing support to the Islamic State militant group.

Linda Moreno, the defense attorney, suggested during the trial that Salman was subject to intimidation and that information and text messages that incriminated Salman had been "planted".

It was the second day of deliberations in the Noor Salman trial.

"It's a frightful, random, senseless killing by a monster", Swift said during closing arguments.

The juror also acknowledged "there were several significant inconsistencies with the written summaries of her statements", as the Federal Bureau of Investigation did not record its interviews with Salaman following the attack, according to the paper.

They asked several questions, including about the statement Salman made to the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

"We can never bring back the 49 innocent victims whose lives were taken on June 12, 2016, or erase the pain that the horrific act brought to so many, but we remain focused on helping the victims and family members continue the healing process", Dyer said in a statement.

Salman also said in the statement that she had accompanied Mateen while casing Pulse and other potential targets. He was killed by Orlando police after a three-hour standoff. This includes Orange County Sheriff Jerry L. Demings who said, "I am disappointed in the outcome of the trial and know that the victims and/or their families are more disappointed".

She had been accused of giving misleading statements to law enforcement officers who interviewed her after the massacre, the worst terrorist attack on American soil since September 11, 2001.

"It was a hard case for all sides involved", said Judge Paul G. Byron of the U.S. District Court for the Middle District of Florida.

But the defence portrayed her as an easily manipulated woman with a low IQ and argued that she signed a false confession because she was exhausted after a long interrogation and feared losing her young son. They say she wasn't an Islamic extremist.

She gave him a "green light to commit terrorism", prosecutors said. "Her cousin and two uncles began sobbing and hugging as soon as a clerk read the words 'not guilty'".

During the government's case, jurors watched video of Salman and Mateen standing together as he purchased ammunition and jewelry. His intended target was the Disney Springs complex, prosecutors said.

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