RI judge throws out testimony in UAE officer trial

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PROVIDENCE, R.I. (AP) ? A federal judge has thrown out the testimony of the star prosecution witness in the trial of a United Arab Emirates naval officer accused of keeping an unpaid servant at his Rhode Island home.

Chief Judge Mary Lisi in Providence ruled Thursday that the interpreter assisting former servant Elizabeth Cabitla Ballesteros didn’t provide a verbatim translation.

Ballesteros’s former employer, Col. Arif Mohamed Saeed (sy-EED’) Mohamed Al-Ali, is accused of luring her to the U.S., withholding wages and seizing her passport. He denies the charges.

Ballesteros is from the Philippines and speaks a dialect of Tagalog (tah-GAH’-log). The interpreter had been hired by prosecutors.

Lisi says prosecutors are looking for another interpreter to assist Ballesteros, who’s expected to testify again.