Lawyers for Noor Salman, 31, the wife of Pulse nightclub gunman Omar Mateen, are arguing that potentially incriminating statements she made to police immediately after the attack should not be allowed into evidence when she goes to trial for her alleged connection to the June 2016 shooting.
Authorities claim she behaved ‘oddly’ and that remarks she made prove she was aware beforehand of what her husband Omar Mateen had done when she was first questioned on the matter. Her attorneys are claiming she had not been Mirandized at the time rendering any statements she made inadmissible.
Meanwhile, prosecutors are arguing she gave the statements freely and was not officially detained and was free to go at the time, consequently, there was no need for her to have been read her rights as regards remaining silent.
The evidence includes a written statement to the FBI in which she apologized for lying about not having knowledge of the attack beforehand, as reported here.
The statements are now being revealed for the first time as Salman prepares to stand trial in Florida.
They were revealed in court on Thursday at a suppression hearing. Her lawyers are trying to block them from going into evidence at her March trial.
Several statements she made at the time appear to conflict with her claim of innocence. See additional reporting here.
Her husband told Salman, “This is my target,” the agent said, according to CNN affiliate WFTV’s report. He said she told him she knew an attack was “close.”
Statements that appear to be initialed by Salman and entered into evidence reveal that her husband, Omar Mateen, had been planning a jihadist attack for two years and the couple had driven around Pulse during the week before the massacre.
Salman wrote: “Omar was driving around slowly, looking around and at one point stated ‘how upset are people going to be when it gets attacked.’ “
As the Daily News reported, the judge is taking the matter into consideration and has not yet released a decision.
Lawyers for Noor Salman, who is accused of aiding Mateen in planning and carrying out the June 12, 2016 attack that killed 49 people and injured at least 68, argued that statements she made to the FBI the day of the attack-that indicate she was aware of her husband’s plans-should not be allowed into evidence during her trial.
FBI agents note that statements she made after the attack reveal she knew more than she initially let on.
Noor Salman, Omar Mateen’s wife, elected to not testify during an evidence suppression hearing held on Friday, Dec. 22nd.