x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Naval officer's US trial over unpaid maid resumes

US trial of Emirati naval officer resumes with testimony from his former Filipina servant.

The US trial of an Emirati naval officer resumed yesterday after a nearly week-long recess with testimony that his former Filipina servant felt like she was in a prison.

Elizabeth Cabitla Ballesteros testified for second time in the case against Col Arif Mohamed Saeed Mohamed Al Ali, who had been studying at a naval college in Rhode Island. Her first testimony was thrown out due to problems with the translation.

Ballesteros claims Mr Al Ali misled her about the size of his home, told her not to speak to outsiders, made her work long hours and did not pay her while she cared for his five children. She described cooking, cleaning, washing two cars and cleaning the garage and basement daily between 6am and 11pm, with no time off, according to news reports.

A lawyer for Mr Al Ali, who has pleaded not guilty to visa fraud and lying to a government official, asked for an acquittal and argued that the government had not proven its case.

Robert Clark Corrente said that the woman’s story was fabricated and that she was paid in full, while prosecutors presented evidence that Mr Al Ali gave false documents to federal agents and lied about the woman’s salary history.