Company to carry out investigation after interpreter fails to turn up at court
An investigation is being carried out by the company at the centre of a nationwide outcry over its failure to provide interpreters after a Bradford Crown Court robbery trial was abandoned because a translator failed to turn up.
But after a spokesman for Applied Language Solutions (ALS) had pledged to find out what went wrong, the contractor sent along a Czech interpreter for the Slovakian defendant the day after the jury was discharged.
On Thursday, the judge in the trial of Stanislav Jano aborted the trial and relisted it on August 29 after his interpreter did not turn up for the second day.
A Czech interpreter arrived after 2pm, but Recorder Christopher Storey QC and the trial barristers agreed it was "contrary to the interests of justice" to continue. On Friday, ALS sent another Czech translator for the case.
He was then employed by the court to interpret for a co-accused Slovakian man who pleaded guilty in January and must now wait until after the trial to be sentenced.
An ALS spokesman, told the trial had been scuppered by lack of an interpreter, told the Telegraph & Argus: "We have been made aware of a Bradford case involving the non-supply of a Slovak interpreter for the second day of a trial and are investigating the court's concerns as a matter of urgency."
Yunus Valli, barrister for Jano, told the judge there had been similar difficulties with interpreters not turning up for cases at Bradford and Leeds Crown Courts.
Local judges had raised concerns about ALS and he believed there was "a channel of communication to the Lord Chancellor's Department on this subject."
Mr Valli said another trial at Bradford Crown Court had found itself without an interpreter on Thursday morning.
Recorder Storey said ALS must "furnish an explanation". The question of a costs order would be raised when the Jano trial started afresh.
Meanwhile, campaign group Interpreters For Justice claims ALS failed to meet 3,833 requests for translators during the first three months of its Ministry of Justice contract.
The Ministry says there was an 81 per cent success rate by ALS in fulfilling requests in February, March and April.