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Slavery case: NRIs to be freed on bail

The US Federal Court agrees to release on bail the Indian-American couple accused of enslaving and torturing two Indonesians.
PTI | By HT Correspondent, New York
UPDATED ON MAY 18, 2007 12:49 PM IST

A US Federal Court has agreed to release on bail, albeit with strict conditions, the multimillionaire Indian-American couple accused of enslaving and torturing their two Indonesian maids.

The bail for Varsha Mahender Sabhanani was set at $2.5 million and for her husband, Mahender Murlidhar Sabhanani, at $ one million.

The conditions set include that they would not leave their house except to meet with their attorneys or go to the doctor or for religious services.

The date for the release has not been decided yet.

US Magistrate Kathleen Tomlinson said she did not believe that they would flee if rigorous conditions were set for the bail.

The two have been charged with using threats of physical harm to obtain service.

Prosecutors say they have found incriminating evidence inside their mansion, which includes a knife, used to cut one of the women behind the ear, bloody tissues used to blot blood and rolling pin used for beating one of the women.

Earlier only one woman had said she was tortured but investigators say that now the second one too has reported beatings by the wife.

Meanwhile, media reported quoting law enforcement sources that investigators were trying to determine whether the couples' four children -- aged 22, 20, 19 and 17 also helped their mother in torturing the two women.

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