“We were always on duty with my mistress. If I was ill, I still had to work,” says an employee known as Lyiya in an account given to the Cimade, an advocacy group which defends the rights of migrant workers, 20minutes.fr reports.
Lyiya worked for Kafa Bashir, the wife of a Libyan official who worked as head of cabinet for leader Muammar Gaddafi.
Bashir is accused of exploiting four Tanzanian employees in her country house in the French department of l’Ain from 2008 to 2009.
French radio Europe 1 reports that the investigation into Bashir started when one of her employees, a worker from Niger, escaped in 2005. He was picked up by the border police and reportedly told them he escaped inhumane working conditions. He alleged Bashir confiscated his identification papers and forced him to work round the clock.
Bashir will not be present at the trial that opens on Wednesday and risks a seven-year prison sentence and a fine of €200,000.