According to the European Convention on Human Rights, foreign nationals charged with a crime are entitled to legal documentation written in their own language, along with in-court interpreters to ensure they know what is going on.
And while this tends to be no problem when the accused speaks a language like English or Spanish, Georgian is a tougher proposition, it would seem.
In relation to an appeal this week at the Østre Landsret high court, which turned down a bid to overturn the convictions of three Georgian burglars on the grounds their rights had been violated by poor translation services, Rigspolitiet has apologised for an erroneous translation compiled by Copenhagen Police for the benefit of the trio.
Nevertheless, the case looks set to reach the Supreme Court.
When two interpreters makes one
The translated document wasn’t the only element subjected to criticism, as it was alleged the defendants were poorly served in court by their interpreters.
EasyTranslate, which was responsible for the in-court interpreters, ended up using a Danish-Russian translator and a Russian-Georgian translator, of which one had to be flown in from Norway.
EasyTranslate has been supplying interpreting services to the Ministry of Justice and the Immigration and Integration Ministry since the spring after winning a Rigspolitiet tender. However, many have refused to work for them in light of their low rate of pay.
Regrettable and terrible
Rigspolitiet communications director Anders Frandsen conceded that the numerous mistakes were “very regrettable”.
Else Præstegaard, one of the lawyers representing the men, called the translation “terrible”.
Rasmus Paludan convicted of racism again
The Østre Landsret high court has upheld a 14-day suspended sentence handed out to Rasmus Paludan for racism. The Koran-burning lawyer, who recently just missed out on securing parliamentary representation for his far-right Stram Kurs party, was also ordered to pay costs. Paludan appealed against the original sentence, which was handed out at Glostrup Court in April as a result of claims he made that black people in South Africa tend to have an IQ of less than 70, and that maybe they were better off living under Apartheid. The video was reported to police by Bwalya Sørensen, the founder of the Danish chapter of Black Lives Matter. Paludan is considering an appeal to the Supreme Court.
Police officer charged with manslaughter after co-passenger dies in crash
A police officer has been charged with negligent manslaughter following the death of his 35-year-old Østjyllands Politi colleague in a 160 km/h accident in which he was driving. The 25-year-old officer lost control of the vehicle during a training exercise on the Randers Motorway on September 7, and he is accused of neglecting road safety in wet conditions and ignoring important road signs. His trial is scheduled to start on September 5.
Three-month suspended sentence for systematic discipline of his children
A politician has been handed a three-month suspended sentence for being systematically violent towards two of his three children over a long period of time. The three presiding judges at the court in Roskilde were unanimous in their verdict, but ruled there was not enough evidence to suggest the violence was abuse, or to convict the politician of being violent towards the third child. The politician has appealed the verdict to the High Court.
Lighter sentence for German teacher prone to checking kids with neck grips
The Vestre Landsret high court has reduced a sentence handed to a German-born teacher, who was found guilty of being violent to students at Ludwig Andresen Schule in Tønder, from one year to three months. The 41-year-old teacher, who also received a six-month suspended sentence and a ban from teaching children for five years, was found guilty of committing violence against nine students at the German-language school. None of the children were older than nine. In most of the cases, he caught the students in neck grips. In one case he roughly grabbed a child by the arm, and in another he pressed down on a child’s shoulders to prevent them from getting up from their chair.
Politician gets community service for beating up love rival
A local politician in Svendborg has been handed 60 hours of community sentence along with a 40-day suspended sentence for assaulting an acquaintance who he claimed was coming on to his girlfriend. Additionally, Morten S Petersen has been asked to step down from the municipal council at Svendborg Municipality, although he will be permitted to stand again in future elections. A boozy Easter breakfast on Thurø led to the swimming pool, at which point Petersen claims the man grabbed his girlfriend’s breast and he remembers hitting him, but only with his palm. However, his acquaintance told the court it was with his fist and that the force threw him onto a glass coffee table that shattered.