Servant testifies in RI trial of UAE officer

By the Associated Press | July 18, 2011 | 1:44 PM EDT

PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) — A Filipino servant has testified that her boss, a United Arab Emirates military officer, withheld her wages, took her passport and told her not to speak with outsiders.

Elizabeth Cabitla Ballesteros on Monday disclosed details of her life working in Rhode Island for Col. Arif Mohamed Saeed Mohamed Al-Ali during the first day of his trial before a judge in U.S. District Court in Providence.

Al-Ali has pleaded not guilty to charges that he lured Ballesteros to the U.S., failed to pay her and kept her confined in his house while he studied at the Naval War College.

Ballesteros says Al-Ali forced her to sign a document affirming she received 12 monthly payments of $1,600. Prosecutors say Al-Ali paid her $200 a month for two months before she escaped.