x Abu Dhabi, UAESunday 23 July 2017

UAE naval officer acquitted in US court

Col Arif Mohamed Saeed Mohamed Al Ali embraced his lawyer and wept at verdict

A UAE naval officer was acquitted yesterday of keeping an unpaid servant after a US judge concluded that the woman's evidence "doesn't have the ring of truth".

Col Arif Mohamed Saeed Mohamed Al Ali embraced his lawyer and wept after Chief Judge Mary Lisi found him not guilty in the US District Court in Providence, Rhode Island, of fraud in foreign labour contracting. Earlier, the judge acquitted Col Al Ali of lying to a US Customs agent.

Elizabeth Cabitla Ballesteros hadclaimed Col Al Ali did not pay her for long hours of cleaning, cooking and babysitting, and forced her to sign a document saying she had been paid in advance.

"The complaining witness's testimony simply doesn't have the ring of truth," the judge said.

Ballesteros, who has also sued Col Al Ali in a civil court, left the courtroom without commenting.

She had accompanied the officer's family last year to Rhode Island, where he was studying for a year at the US Naval War College in Newport. He has since completed the programme, and his wife and five children returned to the UAE in April.

newsdesk@thenational.ae