COEUR D'ALENE -- The wife of a North Idaho man charged with hiring a hit man to kill her says she continues to believe her husband is innocent.
Monday afternoon, Cyndi Steele announced in her first public statement that she believes the only reason her husband of 25 years, Edgar Steele, was jailed on murder-for-hire charges is because of a corrupt government.
"Ed Steele's case is about freedom of speech," said Cyndi. "The only reason the FBI put him in jail is to silence him."
A newly created website supporting Steele's freedom calls him a "politically prisoner."
Cyndi told the media she feels her husband is persecuted for defending ideas that are "politically incorrect." Edgar Steele has previously represented the Aryan Nations in North Idaho.
Cyndi said Edgar Steele remains in jail "at the hands of the FBI and the government for something he didn't do."
Edgar Steele is currently jailed on federal charges for hiring a hit man and has pleaded not guilty. He has requested to represent himself in the case.
He is accused of plotting to kill Cyndi and her mother by hiring another suspect, Larry Fairfax, to build and place a pipe bomb on Cyndi's vehicle.
"Ed loves me and I love him and we've been best friends," she said. "He is grateful and he has always seen me as his rock."
Cyndi said the person behind the murder-for-hire plot is Fairfax, who recently agreed to a plea deal, pleading guilty to one count of possession of an unregistered firearm and one count of making a firearm.
Federal authorities used Fairfax as an informant and taped his conversations with Steele, allegedly talking about the plot and discussing payment.
Cyndi claims Fairfax had been stealing from her family, and said the FBI and government refuse to prosecute Fairfax.
"I just want the government to make sure he won't hurt anyone else again," said Cyndi.
She also claimed there are more accomplices in the case that have not been named, and maintained that she is not convinced by the taped evidence federal prosecutors are using against her husband.
"They have not provided reliable evidence," Cyndi said. "Those tapes did not convince me."
The bomb on Cyndi's vehicle was discovered the day of Edgar's first appearance in court, when Cyndi took her SUV in for an oil change in Coeur d'Alene.