The trial of a mosque worker accused of sexually molesting two young boys collapsed yesterday because of difficulties interpreting the evidence.

Yasir Muhammed Hafiz, 31, of Daleside Walk, West Bowling, Bradford, had pleaded not guilty to nine charges of sexually assaulting a child under 13, and seven of causing or inciting a child to engage in sexual activity.

Judge Jonathan Rose, following discussions with the prosecution and defence barristers in the absence of the jury at Bradford Crown Court, yesterday discharged them because misinterpretations of the defendant's evidence had made the trial unfair.

Judge Rose told the jury: "This is a man of good character, facing very serious charges. If he was convicted the penalties would be substantial. I cannot take a risk with the reputation and liberty of a man if there is something not right about the evidence."


The Legal Aid Agency has been criticised for its lack of cooperation in determining who should bear the cost of translating documents during court proceedings.

The agency was invited by Her Honour Judge Lynn Roberts, sitting at Chelmsford Family Court, to clarify its position and the legal basis for it in care proceedings brought by a local authority. The matter pertained to Polish parents who were entitled to non-means-tested and non-merits-tested legal aid who were unable to read untranslated documents. 

In her judgmentSuffolk County Council v The Mother and The Father and The Child, Roberts highlighted ‘fruitless’ attempts to get the agency to ’provide a clear view’ of its position ’and equally importantly, the basis for [its] position’.

The agency, she said, was invited to intervene in the case ‘in order that a decision could be reached by the court which could be relied on in this case and in others with the benefit of the LAA’s considered position’.

Roberts said she was surprised to receive an email from the agency in which it declined the invitation and suggested that costs be split equally between the parties involved. This was one of four options put forward to the court by the local authority.

Roberts said the agency, in its ‘disappointing’ email, not only misunderstood the position of the local authority but also failed ’to set out any basis for the decision or clarify whether this is in fact a decision or merely “a suggestion”’.

The agency did not attend court to make representations or respond to an invitation by the father’s lawyer to clarify its position, the judgment stated.

‘The LAA has had every opportunity to participate fully but have failed to assist the court or the parties by clarifying their position or the legal basis for it,’ Roberts said.

Roberts, not believing it to be correct that costs should be shared equally, said the role of translators was ‘comparable to that of interpreters’.


Dozens of assiduous interpreters roamed around the European Council's halls alongside frustrated, exhausted political leaders until the early hours of Monday, July 13, as one of the toughest negotiations between the Greek government and the country's international lenders for a new bailout deal dragged on for hours. If it weren't for these professionals diligently searching for the right words among such a host of languages being used, how else could the politicians from 19 different countries communicate with one another?

“The burden of responsibility is huge,” said Vangelis Panagiotatos, who often translates Angela Merkel and Wolfgang Schauble's statements on behalf of the Greek state broadcaster ERT. “Our biggest enemy is fatigue,” said Panagiotatos, who during that weekend's marathon negotiations, remained in the studio at the Aghia Paraksevi headquarters in northern Athens for 30 hours, anticipating (as was the rest of the country) an agreement between the two sides.

In the last few weeks in the run-up to those crunch talks, interpreters from all fields were recruited: three for every language in each European Institution's designated booth, some in broadcasting studios carrying out direct translations and others attending discussions between three or four parties, whispering into their assigned leaders' ear. Additionally, interpreters who contribute to leaders' communication via phone are a case of their own.

“The interpreter is informed ahead of time. He's on standby, at a desk, over a phone, taking notes and translating in a sequential manner,” said one professional who asked not to be named. Discretion, in this case, is an inviolate rule.


The European Commission is currently looking for translators into English from at least two of the following languages: Bulgarian, Croatian, Czech, Danish, Dutch, Estonian, Finnish, Greek, Hungarian, Latvian, Lithuanian, Polish, Portuguese, Romanian, Slovak, Slovenian or Swedish.

The second source language must be different from the first source language and can be any of the languages mentioned above or French, German, Italian or Spanish. 


The EU institutions are looking for conference interpreters with Czech, Croatian, Lithuanian or Maltese as their main language to be recruited as permanent staff (AD5/AD7).  

As a conference interpreter working at the EU institutions, you will ensure that the discussions held at various meetings are correctly interpreted into an official language of the European Union.

To apply for this position, you should have:

  • EU citizenship; and 
  • four-year university undergraduate course in conference interpreting;  
  • a master’s degree in conference interpreting;
  • three years' university undergraduate course followed by: at least one year  relevant professional experience, or an academic postgraduate conference interpreting training of at least one year (other than a Master’s degree).