Czech trafficking trial halted at Plymouth court over interpreter
The trial of five Czechs accused of trafficking men into Britain has been adjourned after concerns were raised about one of the interpreters.
Two men and three women, members of an extended Roma family, are facing a jury at Plymouth Crown Court for allegedly housing compatriots in their homes for economic exploitation.
But the court was told this afternoon that the case would have to be postponed until tomorrow.
One of the men who was allegedly trafficked, Josef Bukovinsky, is giving evidence from behind a screen.
Judge Paul Darlow said to the jury: “We have very serious concerns as to the quality and fairness of the interpretation we are being offered.
“That complaint has come from a number of different independent sources, in that the interpreter who is interpreting Josef’s evidence is not doing so professionally and fairly. We must have absolutely reliable interpretation.
“The long and the short of it is that another interpreter has to be organised for the witness.”
The panel was sent home until 2pm tomorrow.
Ruzena Tancosova, aged 34, her brother Petr Tancos, aged 35, his cousin Martin Tancos, aged 35, Nela Dzurkova, aged 26, and Katerina Kurejova, aged 35, have all gone on trial at Plymouth Crown Court charged with people trafficking.
They allegedly trafficked individuals into the country for the purpose of exploitation between April 6, 2013, and September 16, 2014.
Tancosova, Petr Tancos and Dzurkova are also charged with the same offence again but applying to an earlier period between January 1, 2010, and April 5, 2013.
Tancosova and Martin Tancos are further accused of acting as gangmasters in supplying workers to pack agricultural products.
Tancosova and Petr Tancos also allegedly required a person to perform forced or compulsory labour between 2010 and 2014.