Saturday, March 24, 2012

Mahfouz charged in contributing to death of Ethiopian worker

BEIRUT: Beirut’s general prosecutor has charged Ali Mahfouz with contributing to and causing the suicide of Alem Dechasa-Desisa, the Ethiopian domestic worker who committed suicide after a widely publicized beating outsider her consulate.

A judicial source told The Daily Star that Mahfouz was charged Thursday, adding that he is not currently in custody.

A video released by LBCI earlier this month showed Dechasa-Desisa moaning as a man, later identified as Mahfouz, dragged and forced her into a car. Mahfouz reportedly owns her employment agency.

Another man helped Mahfouz, as others stood by. According to Ethiopia’s consul general in Lebanon, Asaminew Debelie Bonssa, the incident took place two weeks before it became public on March 8.

Doctors told Bonssa that Dechasa-Desisa hanged herself using strips of her bed sheets on March 15 while at to Pyschiatrique de la Croix Hospital, known as Deir al-Salib. Police took her to the hospital after the incident.

Mahfouz has told media outlets that Dechasa-Desisa had previously attempted suicide.