Pulse gunman's friend ‘Nemo' plans to invoke Fifth Amendment during trial

Defense files motion asking for hearing to interview witness

By Emilee Speck - Digital journalist
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ORLANDO, Fla. - Noor Salman's defense lawyers are asking for more time to interview Omar Mateen's friend after learning of his plans to invoke his Fifth Amendment right during the March trial, documents show.

A motion was filed Tuesday after the defense team learned that the friend Mateen said he was going to see the night of June 11, before the mass shooting at Pulse nightclub, where 49 people were killed, will invoke his Fifth Amendment right during the trial.

The defense team is asking for time to file a brief in federal court and conduct a two-hour hearing with the witness only identified in the document as "Nemo."

Salman faces charges of aiding a foreign terrorist organization and obstruction of justice. She was arrested seven months after her husband opened fire on the Orlando gay nightclub.

On Jan. 10, the defense learned that Nemo was planning to invoke his Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination for unknown reasons if called to testify at trial.

Salman's lawyers say Nemo's testimony is evidence that Mateen lied to his wife about his plans. Mateen allegedly told Salman he was going out with Nemo the night before the shooting.

Prosecutors say Salman fabricated a cover story for her husband, claiming Mateen told her he was going to see Nemo on the night of the Pulse attack. FBI documents recently made public show that Salman told agents she wished she would have told authorities what her husband was planning to do the night he carried out the attack.

The defense is seeking more time to call Nemo  in for a hearing allowing the federal judge to determine his right to invoke the Fifth Amendment.

Salman's trial is scheduled to begin in March in Orlando.

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