x Abu Dhabi, UAEThursday 27 July 2017

Death sentence appeal hearing for 17 Indians postponed

The Sharjah Court of Appeals postpones a hearing for the 17 Indians facing death sentences for killing a Pakistani worker for a second time.

SHARJAH // The Sharjah Court of Appeals has postponed a hearing for the 17 Indians facing death sentences for killing a Pakistani worker for a second time, apparently due to the continued lack of a direct Arabic-Punjabi translator. During the proceedings Judge Abdullah al Shamsi called upon a translator brought in by the Indian consulate but he could not speak Arabic, saying he thought he was to translate from another language into Punjabi. The judge replied that Arabic was the official language of the court. Anshul Sharma, the Indian consulate representative, told the court that efforts to find someone who spoke both Arabic and Punjabi had failed and offered to produce a second translator. The judge refused the offer, saying that legal translations could not go through more than two languages. "We are going to put in our request to Sharjah Public Prosecution to arrange for us a translator who speaks both Arabic and Punjabi," Judge al Shamsi said. "For this reason, we are postponing this case to July 14." Abdul Aziz al Zarouni, a defence attorney, said they were willing to be patient until an acceptable translatorwas found. "This case is very sensitive," he said. "It's an appeal of a death sentence and it's the right of our clients to be told in the language they understand most." ykakande@thenational