Orlando Gunman's Wife Released from Federal Custody Pending Trial

An artist rendering of the scene on February 1 in a federal court room in Oakland California where lawyers wanted a judge to release Noor Salman widow of Omar Mateen on bail

An artist rendering of the scene on February 1 in a federal court room in Oakland California where lawyers wanted a judge to release Noor Salman widow of Omar Mateen on bail

A federal judge in California ruled that the widow of the gunman who killed 49 people at an Orlando nightclub may be released on bail until she goes on trial on charges of aiding his attack.

Her attorney has said that Salman was a victim of domestic abuse by Mateen and has diminished mental capacity.

But U.S. Magistrate Judge Donna Ryu said in an Oakland courtroom that the government had not shown Salman was a danger to the community or a serious flight risk.

Ryu said there is no evidence that Salman is linked to any terror groups or holds extremist views, and that the government's evidence against Salman was "debatable". She is formally accused of helping Mateen provide material support to a foreign terrorist organization.

Sweeney said Mateen asked Salman whether attacking the Disney site would have a bigger impact than attacking a nightclub.

She ordered the 30-year-old, who had a four-year-old son with Mateen, to wear an electronic monitor while living with her maternal uncle in northern California, where she grew up.

Salman's lawyer says she said said those things without a lawyer present. A trial has not been scheduled. They say she told Federal Bureau of Investigation agents that she knew Mateen was planning the attack. If convicted, she faces life in prison.

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Further, Salman allegedly told investigators that Mateen was taking steroids and was "pumped up" on the night of the attack, saying "this is the one day" as he walked out the door to head to Orlando.

She was not arrested until 16 January 2017, at her parents' home near San Francisco. "This is extraordinarily rare and a real statement on the weakness on the prosecution's case", defense attorney Linda Morena said.

Her indictment alleges, without elaborating, that Salman "did knowingly aid and abet" her husband from at least April onward and that after the shooting, she "did knowingly mislead" investigators. Among the purchases was an $8,000 diamond ring for Salman.

"The Florida court has the right to come to a different decision", Ryu said, according to KCBS.

But prosecutors argue that Salman remains a danger to the public.

Prosecutors were given two days to appear, but Salman's lawyer Charles Swift welcomed the ruling.

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