Pulse gunman Omar Mateen’s father was an FBI informant and later became the subject of a criminal investigation, a new court filing shows.
The dad may have also used his federal connection to block a 2013 investigation of the ISIS-supporting mass murderer, the documents claim.
Lawyers for Mateen’s widow, Noor Salman, want a judge to declare a mistrial in the case against her in light of the new information.
Seddique Mateen acted as an FBI informant “at various points” from 2005 to June 2016, prosecutors said in an email to the defense on Saturday — after they rested their case against Salman on Thursday.
The 31-year-old widow is accused of helping her husband plan his assault on the Orlando nightclub, where he killed 49 people before dying in a firefight with police.
But her lawyer, Fritz Scheller, argued prosecutors didn’t give information that would’ve let the defense explore alternate theories.
One suggestion, the filing said, was that that Mateen may have actually conspired with his father, who was later put under investigation for wire transfers to Turkey and Afghanistan.
Investigators found receipts for the transfers — from March to June 2016 — when they searched Seddique Mateen’s home after the June 12, 2016, massacre at Pulse, according to the email attached to a motion to dismiss filed Sunday.
Remembering the mass shooting at Pulse nightclub in Orlando
Seddique Mateen “has not been informed by the FBI about the investigation,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Sara Sweeney wrote in the email.
Defendants weren’t able to investigate “whether a tie existed between Seddique Mateen and his son, specifically whether Mateen’s father was involved in or had foreknowledge of the Pulse attack,” Scheller wrote in the filing.
The elder Mateen’s ties to the feds suggest also he “played a significant role in the FBI’s decision not to seek an indictment from the Justice Department for false statements to the FBI or obstruction of justice against Omar Mateen” during a 2013 probe into threats he made, the filing argued.
Salman’s lawyers also argued the FBI went after her “based on its own motive to avoid responsibility for its failures with its own informant, Seddique Mateen, as well as his son.”
The suggestion that Seddique Mateen “may have been involved in the promotion of violent activities” complicated the case, Scheller argued, because he was a government witness. He was never called to testify.
Salman’s lawyer also suggested Mateen’s mother was misleading on the witness standing when she claimed to not be aware of any ties her husband had to the FBI.
Not providing the information violated Salman’s so-called Brady rights, which require prosecutors to hand over any potentially favorable evidence.
“It is apparent from the Government’s belated disclosure that Ms. Salman has been defending a case without a complete set of facts and evidence that the Government was required to disclose,” the filing argues.
∫∫∫ And don’t forget: