By M. WelemongaiCiapha, II
One of the 14 girls allegedly trafficked to Lebanon by defendant Abbas EL Debes Tuesday, stunned court audience when she testified how her captor pointed a pistol at her and raped her near a mountain in Lebanon.
Defendant Debes is currently standing trial at the 11th Judicial Circuit Court in Tubmanburg, Bomi County on multiple charges including gang rape, human trafficking, smuggling of migrants and criminal conspiracy.
The witness, name withheld, told the court Ghazi Bashir dragged her butt half-naked at the back of his car and had sex with her. Ghazi Barshir is one of the defendants indicted along with Debes, but he is still in Lebanon.
She explained that after having sex with her, Bashir told her that if she tells anyone, he would kill her.
“I told him as long as you had sex with me, I will not work. I want to go back to my country. When we got to his house, he put me in a garage where I spent one week,” she testified.
The prosecution’s first witness said the next day which was on Sunday, Bashir took a knife, a gun and digger, threatened that if she refuses to work, he would either bury her in his garden, or send her body to her corrupt Government with US$3,500.
“After that Bashir started playing with the knife over my face, I got afraid and I said I want to work and he freed me from the garage,” she added.
The 25 year-old witness, who testified for nearly six hours, said she got in contact with Richard Tamba Dixon in December, 2012 when she had gone to visit a friend named Love at the Stephen Tolbert Estate. Tamba, a Liberian, is also one of the defendants, but he is still on the run.
She explained that Dixon introduced himself to them as Abbas DebesJalloh and told them that Debes wanted some girls to go to Lebanon to work in supermarkets and restaurants.
She narrated that after Dixon had processed their traveling documents; they were taken to the Catholic Clinic where doctors took their blood for any sickness.
The witness further informed the court that on April 14, 2013, Dixon called and told them that their Visas were already here for them to depart for Lebanon.
The case continues today with the witness being cross-examined by the defense.
Defendant Debes is represented by Cllrs. Cooper W. Kruah, Idris Sheriff and Atty. Arthur T. Johnson, while the prosecution is represented by Cllr. JomahKarnley, County Attorney for Bomi County and Atty. David Woah, Legal Consultant at the Ministry of Justice.