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Error made by an interpreter causes trial to collapse. Retrial costs estimated at £25,000
An interpreting error caused a trial in London to collapse last week after an interpreter made a crucial interpreting error.
The trial at Snaresbrook Crown Court was one for burglary. The interpreter translated a statement made by the Romanian-speaking defendant to be that he had been “bitten” by the victim. In reality however, the defendant had actually said that he had been “beaten” by the victim.
The interpreter, who works for the translator company Applied Language Solutions (ASL), confessed that they had recognised their error at the time, but had failed to inform the Court. Once the blunder had been discovered, the trial was suspended and the jury was discharged. It is predicted that retrial costs could be around £25,000.
This case is the latest in a string of trials which have collapsed and re-adjourned as a result of problems with Applied Language Solutions since the government appointed them as the new provider for court interpreters earlier this year.
Avv. Gabriele Giambrone, Senior Partner of Giambrone Law ILP remarked, “These types of errors, though easily avoided, have grave consequences. Not only in monetary terms, but also for traumatised victims of serious crimes who are forced to testify again. The Ministry of Justice must intervene and improve the system.”
Giambrone Law ILP is a multi-lingual international law firm. We are experienced in dealing with legal matters in several languages. If you need help or advice on a legal matter and have concerns about language barriers, please feel free to contact our experienced legal team.
Iain James Buchan
Avv. Gabriele Giambrone
Giambrone Law ILP
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