ORLANDO, Fla. — Noor Salman told federal investigators that her husband, Omar Mateen, showed her a photo of Pulse on his computer less than two days before he opened fire inside the Orlando nightclub, killing 49 people and injuring dozens more.

But government forensic experts have not been able to find evidence of the photo on his devices, Salman’s defense attorneys wrote in a motion that was made public Monday. They think Mateen may have been browsing the web in incognito mode, which would not keep a record of the sites he visited, the defense said in its motion.

Law enforcement questioned Salman over a period of 16 hours early June 12, 2016, after they identified Mateen at the shooter. She apparently told them he showed her a picture of the club on June 10, records show.

Previously released court records show that Salman told investigators Mateen asked her, “How bad would it be if a club got attacked?” about a week beforehand. Mateen was killed in a shootout with law enforcement three hours after he began shooting in the gay nightclub south of downtown Orlando.

Both a U.S. Attorney’s Office spokesman and Salman’s attorney declined to comment Monday.

Salman was arrested in January and faces charges of providing material support to a terrorist and tampering with evidence. She is in custody until her trial, which is scheduled for March.

—Orlando Sentinel


‘Duck Dynasty’ Uncle Si’s daughter not planning to run for Texas House or Senate seat — for now

FORT WORTH, Texas — Uncle Si’s daughter doesn’t have political aspirations beyond Hurst, Texas — at least for now.

Trasa Robertson Cobern, daughter of Si Robertson on the popular A&E reality show “Duck Dynasty,” won her first political office on the Hurst City Council last year.

And as speculation swirls — including Cobern’s name — around who will be on next year’s state ballot, she said she’s got plenty of work to do in her Northeast Tarrant County city of more than 38,000. So she’s not planning on challenging her state officials — state Rep. Jonathan Stickland, R-Bedford, or state Sen. Kelly Hancock, R-North Richland Hills.

“I am not running against any of our current representatives,” she told the Star-Telegram. “In my district, both Rep. Stickland and Sen. Hancock work hard in Austin for Tarrant County.”

She posted on Facebook recently that she doesn’t take her elected post lightly.

“I’m proud of the impact I have on the lives of those who live, work, and raise their families here,” she wrote on social media. “I’m also glad we have the representation that we have at the state and national level, who make it their daily goal to help fight for and improve this community.”

Other than continuing to serve on the Hurst City Council, she said she also is excited to serve as Tarrant County Republican Party’s new outreach committee chair.

“I’m looking forward to working on outreach because I believe that the Republican Party’s principles of freedom provide a foundation for growing the economy and giving everyone a better chance in life,” she said.

Cobern, a teacher, was elected last year to represent Place 4 on the Hurst City Council.

The first day to file to be on the 2018 ballot is Nov. 11.

—Fort Worth Star-Telegram


Ex-Panamanian president denied bond in Miami files emergency bid with Supreme Court

MIAMI — Attorneys for former Panamanian President Ricardo Martinelli, who is being detained in Miami on an extradition request to his homeland, filed an emergency petition with the U.S. Supreme Court on Monday that asserts his constitutional rights have been violated because his bid for bond was denied.

Martinelli’s legal team argued that federal courts nationwide have “misconstrued” a 114-year-old Supreme Court decision “as having erected a heavy presumption against bail in such (extradition) cases.”

“The belief that (this decision) imposed an unlawful presumption has prevailed (in extradition cases) for so long that is now binding across the country,” wrote Miami attorney David O. Markus in Martinelli’s emergency petition for a writ of habeas corpus. “Only this court can resolve the confusion at this point.”

Markus, who is assisting Martinelli’s main attorney, Marcos Jimenez, on the emergency petition, said the U.S. Supreme Court was the former president’s only recourse because bond denials cannot be appealed in extradition cases in the federal district or appeals courts.

While the Supreme Court is in recess for the summer, it still issues decisions on emergency petitions and other orders, a spokesman said Monday.

Earlier this month, a U.S. federal judge in Florida denied bond for the former Panamanian president, who is fighting efforts to send him back to his home country to face political espionage charges.

U.S. Magistrate Edwin Torres issued his order, pointing out that Martinelli’s significant wealth and foreign connections make him a serious flight risk.

Martinelli was arrested in Miami last month on an extradition warrant from Panama. A final extradition hearing is set for Tuesday, but it may be postponed because of the emergency petition filed with the Supreme Court.

Martinelli, who had served as president from 2009 to 2014, failed to show up at a late 2015 court hearing in Panama on charges that include illegally monitoring phone and other conversations of at least 150 people with an extensive surveillance system he created with public funds.

Martinelli denies any wrongdoing and is seeking asylum.

—Miami Herald

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