x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Be gentle with defendant, UAE judge tells translator

A judge tells off the court translator for speaking too harshly to a defendant.

ABU DHABI // A judge at the State Security Court told off a translator yesterday for speaking too harshly to a defendant.

“Next time when you translate be natural or he will think you are the judge, so be gentle when you talk to him!” Chief Justice Falah Al Hajeri told the translator.

The judge then turned to a law university instructor who was attending the hearing with more than 50 students from UAE University and said: “Dr, can you see how much we are suffering with translators? I hope our daughters (the students) will specialise in English or Urdu for the court, as you can see we have a very serious need.”

His comments came during the trial of a man accused of possessing a forged passport.

When the hearing started and the translator spoke to the defendant, the judge interrupted saying: “Poor him, he is scared, be patient with him.”

The judge asked where the defendant got the forged passport from, and the translator responded: “He doesn’t know.”

“Not you, ask him first,” the Chief Justice snapped.

The defendant told the judge he bought the passport for 10,000 Taka in his home country of Bangladesh before arriving in the UAE.

He said he was arrested as he tried to enter the country. He asked to be deported as soon as possible.

A verdict is expected on November 4.

hdajani@thenational.ae