US judge approves release of Florida nightclub shooter's widow

By REUTERS
March 2, 2017 00:27
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OAKLAND  - A judge cleared the way on Wednesday for the widow of the gunman who killed 49 people at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, to be released from jail and also appeared to throw doubt on the strength of the government's case against her.

Noor Salman, 30, was arrested in California in January on federal charges she knew before the June 2016 shootings that her husband, Omar Mateen, was planning the attack and concocted a cover story for him.

Prosecutors want Salman to remain jailed before her trial in Florida. But US 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.

"I find the weight of the government evidence as debatable," Ryu added.

Commenting on the prosecutor's charges against Salman, the judge said: "All the government assertions are hotly debated."

Salman is charged with obstructing justice and aiding Mateen in his attempt to provide material support to a terrorist organization.

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