Defense attorney Victoria Walton told the earlier hearing that the UAE embassy in Washington held Col Al-Ali's passport - how Al-Ali came to be on board an Emirates plane bound for Dubai was not explained
Dubai based Emirates officer dragged off Dubai-bound plane brought before US District Court over human trafficking case of a Pinay maid - mystery of how his passport "held by UAE embassy" got him through customs not solved
A federal magistrate judge in Providence, Rhode Island has released on bail an Arab Colonel who tried to escape US jurisdiction over charges relating to the ill treatment of a Filipina domestic worker.
U.S. Magistrate Judge Lincoln D. Almond ordered on Wednesday that Colonel Arif Mohamed Saeed Mohamed Al-Ali be restricted to his rented home, except to attend the Naval War College in Rhode Island and on visits to his legal team's office. He imposed a bail bond to be paid in cash by 20th April of $100,000USD and that he is to wear an electronic tagging device.
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The specifics of the bail according a Dept of Justice spokesman are bail was set at $100,000 cash, to be paid within seven days; home confinement with GPS monitoring, to include restricted travel within the State of Rhode Island only for the purposes of visiting with his attorney, the court, or to attend class at the Naval War College; surrender of his passport; and GPS monitor is to signal if he approaches the Rhode Island border, Green Airport or the Providence Amtrak train station. The US Attorney's office had requested bail of $200,000.
Staff at the Naval College where Al-Ali is attending a senior officer's course have agreed to act as custodians during his period of bail.
Al-Ali had been pulled off an Emirates plane bound for Dubai on Monday night at New York's JFK airport. Security staff noticed when Al-Ali booked in that he was on a watch list after being previously granted bail last week, one of the conditions of that earlier bail that he remained within the state of Rhode Island. He was accompanied by his wife and children when airport officials and US Marshalls dramatically boarded the flight prior to take off and took him into custody.
He had earlier been indicted by a grand jury on charges of forcing a Filipina, Elizabeth Cabitla Ballesteros, to work as a domestic for minimal or no pay and treating her as a virtual slave (restricting movements, working 7 days a week, no contact with outsiders or other Filipinos) and for offering to federal agents false documents appearing to show he had paid Elizabeth Ballesteros $19,000USD.
These charges had originally been brought by the Asian American Legal Defense and Education Fund (AALDEF) which had filed a civil complaint in Rhode Island federal court on behalf of a Filipina immigrant worker against Al-Ali, a student at the U.S. Naval War College's International Program from the United Arab Emirates ("U.A.E.") and his wife for violating federal laws against human trafficking. On April 5, 2011, federal prosecutors arrested and arraigned the student, Colonel Arif Mohamed Saeed Mohamed Al-Ali, for one count of committing fraud in foreign labor contracting and one count of making false representations to Immigration and Customs Enforcement.
AALDEF Staff Attorney Ivy Suriyopas, who leads the Anti-Trafficking Initiative, and Samuel Bodurtha, an associate at Hinshaw & Culbertson LLP in Rhode Island, who is serving as pro bono co-counsel on this case, were the prime movers in this case that has now reached proportions nobody can have imagined. Al-Ali's attempted flight back home to Dubai now puts everything in a different light.
Al-Ali pleaded not guilty to the charges last week in the US District Court in Providence. The U.S. Magistrate Judge Lincoln D. Almond released him on his personal bond and his passport was ordered to be surrendered. At the same hearing his counsel informed the court that the passport was in the custody of UAE embassy officials and the judge accepted this. How his passport was able to be produced for him to board the Emirates flight on Monday night has not yet been explained.
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