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Ukrainian Immigrant Denies Human Trafficking And Abuse Charges

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PHILADELPHIA (CBS) - One of two Ukrainian brothers on trial charged with human trafficking has taken the witness stand, denying the charges and blaming others. Ukrainian Immigrant Denies Human Trafficking And Abuse Charges

The jury had already heard from numerous witnesses, illegal aliens smuggled into the country for a fee, they testified Omelyan Botsvynyuk abused and tortured them, forced them to work seven days a week. They said he held them captive through violence and threats to family back in the Ukraine. But during questioning by prosecutor Daniel Valez, Botsvynyuk, through an interpreter, denied it all.

“My son is five years old, and I swear on my own life and the life of my son that I would never do such a thing,” Botsvynyuk said through an interpreter.

“And all the witnesses who have come into this courtroom, shaking and crying, is it your testimony this is all made up?” asked the prosecutor.

“99 percent.”

Both brothers have pleaded not guilty.

Reported by Tony Hanson, KYW Newsradio

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