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Orlando Pulse shooter's widow found not guilty

Noor Salman was found not guilty of aiding and abetting her husband's attack on Pulse nightclub

2018-03-31

Noor Salman, the widow of the man who killed 49 people at Orlando's Pulse nightclub in June 2016, has been found not guilty. 

Salman faced charges of aiding and abetting her husband Omar Mateen and obstructing the investigation into the attack but was found not guilty on all charges yesterday (March 30) following two days of deliberations. 

During the trial, prosecutors said Salman had aided her husband ahead of the attack and then lied to police to damage their investigation, CNN reports. 

Assistant US Attorney Sara Sweeney said: "This case is about what she knew and what she did. The defendant didn't pull the trigger that night, but she did serve as a green light for her husband." 

Meanwhile, Salman's attorney's claimed that she wasn't an accomplice to Matten's crimes, but a "simple-minded" victim caught in her his lies. 

In closing arguments, Charles Swift, Salman's attorney, said: "She doesn't go to the mosque; she searches for Hello Kitty on her website. We're to believe she had long conversations with Omar Mateen about jihads?" 

Salman was arrested last year in 2017 on federal charges of providing support to a terrorist and tampering with evidence but pleaded not guilty and claimed to be suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder.

Hours after her arrest, Salman provided FBI with a 12-page written statement in which she revealed Mateen would browse jihad websites, bought a rifle four days before the attack and spent a significant amount of money on Salman and her son.

Following the trial, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said on Twitter: "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." 

Barbara Poma, the founder of OnePulse Foundation, said that, despite the verdict, the victims of Pulse will not be forgotten: "We will always carry the pain of what happened at Pulse, and we will never forget those who were taken." 

Susan Clay, the spokeswoman for Salman's family, said: "We are so grateful to them, so grateful for the verdict. She can go home now and try to pick up the pieces." 

Salman didn't testify during the trial and had faced life in prison.