The father of Omar Mateen, who killed 49 people in the 2016 attack on an Orlando nightclub by the name of Pulse, was revealed to be a long-time confidential informant for the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), according to court documents.
The revelation came during the trial of Mateen’s widow, Noor Salman, 31, on charges that she had prior knowledge of her husband’s deadly plans. During the course of the hearings, the defense attorneys came across an email which revealed that Salman’s father-in-law, Seddique Mateen, was an “FBI confidential human source at various points in time between January 2005 and June 2016.” In addition to that, Mateen was also the subject of investigations for money transfers which he made to Turkey and Afghanistan.
The defense attorneys said the government’s failure to disclose the information violated Salman’s “right to a fair trial” and called for the charges against her to be thrown out.
“If the government had provided this information, the defense would have investigated 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,” the defense said.
Seddique Mateen, who is originally from Afghanistan, was on the government’s initial witness list but was finally not called to testify.
The appeal for a mistrial was rejected by the judge, who said that the trial was about Salman and not Seddique Mateen.
Salman is facing charges of providing support to a foreign terrorist organization and obstructing justice.
Defense lawyers have told the court she was in an abusive relationship with Omar Mateen and had no knowledge of his plans.