ORLANDO, Fla. (Reuters) – The widow of the gunman who killed 49 folks at a homosexual nightclub in Orlando, Florida, in 2016 cased areas for the assault together with her husband and did nothing to cease his lethal plans, prosecutors informed jurors at her federal trial on Wednesday.
But a protection legal professional for Noor Salman mentioned she was a “simple woman who loved children” and was unaware that her husband, Omar Mateen, supposed to hold out the Pulse nightclub bloodbath on June 12, 2016.
The two portraits of Salman, 31, emerged throughout opening statements for her trial in U.S. District Court in Orlando. She faces as much as life in jail if she is convicted of aiding and abetting her husband and obstructing a federal investigation.
“The defendant’s cold actions gave Omar Mateen the green light to commit these crimes” on behalf of Islamic State, Assistant U.S. Attorney James Mandolfo informed jurors. She is the one individual charged within the assault, which ended with Mateen’s loss of life in an trade of gunfire with police.
Mandolfo mentioned the federal government will present proof that Salman had foreknowledge of the assault, together with statements she made to federal investigators simply hours afterward.
She was at residence with the couple’s then-Three-year-old son through the taking pictures spree. Defense legal professional Linda Moreno informed jurors Salman was unaware of her husband’s sinister plans.
“Noor was in the dark about Omar’s secret and despicable life,” Moreno mentioned.
Moreno mentioned the FBI didn’t file its interrogation of Salman and coerced her into making statements that favored the prosecution.
The trial is predicted to final for a month.
According to prosecutors, Salman initially informed investigators her husband acted with out her information however later acknowledged being conscious that he was watching Islamic State recruitment movies, had bought an assault rifle and examined three potential assault areas.
Salman’s attorneys contend the U.S. authorities couldn’t present any direct hyperlinks between Mateen and Islamic State earlier than the assault and has offered no proof that Salman aided her husband.
Salman was indicted on two fees: obstruction of justice for alleged false statements to federal investigators, and aiding and abetting Mateen in his try to offer materials assist to a terrorist group.
Mateen, 29, opened fireplace shortly after the final name for drinks on the membership’s standard Latin night time.
Holding hostages throughout his standoff with police, he claimed allegiance to a frontrunner of the Islamic State militant group earlier than being fatally shot.
Reporting by Joey Roulette in Orlando, Florida; Writing by Dan Whitcomb and Colleen Jenkins; Editing by David Gregorio