ABU DHABI // A confession by one of two men accused of drugs trafficking is invalid because the public prosecution's translator did not speak their language, the Criminal Court heard yesterday.
RS and AM, both from Asia, were accused of helping to transport marijuana from Dubai to Abu Dhabi. Prosecutors said they were to be paid Dh2,000 per kilogram for the drugs, which were to be sent on to Saudi Arabia.
The two men were said to have confessed their involvement during interrogations by the public prosecution at a police station.
However, the lawyer for one of the men said his statements could not be used in evidence as the translator spoke to him only in Urdu, which the man did not understand. The lawyer said the man spoke only Pashto.
The judge then asked the court translator, Mahmoud Dawud, if he knew the translator at the police station, but he said no.
The judge then asked him if Urdu was significantly different to Pashto, Mr Dawud said it was. However, he added that many Pakistanis who spoke Pashto could also speak Urdu.
As a test, the judge asked the translator to speak to the two men in Urdu to see if they understood questions and could answer. One of the men said that he could speak Urdu fluently, but the judge noted that the other man was less fluent.
The judge told the lawyer his argument was a "good defence" and adjourned the case to October 22.