Courtroom Mistranslation Postpones Trial
Mistranslation many times can lead to substantial loss of time and money, but in some extreme cases, it can even lead to jail time. Laura Plummer, a British citizen, is currently facing up to twenty-five years in a foreign prison for charges of drug trafficking a controlled substance in Egypt. Laura claims to have been bringing painkillers to her husband to help with his back pain. Trafficking a controlled substance in Egypt carries a severe consequence of up to twenty-five years in prison. When first arrested in Egypt, Plummer was forced to sign a thirty-eight-page confession document in Arabic, of which she could not read or understand.
Following her arrest, Plummer’s lawyer, Osman, recounts a mistranslation in the courtroom that was detrimental to her case. He said “Themain judge demanded that a member of the bench ask Laura whether she traded or dealt in narcotics. The member of the bench then asked her in a different manner, saying: “ You are accused of dealing drugs,” to which she answered ‘yes, I am accused of this’. This was translated to the main judge as Laura admitting that she did the crime” This mistranslation made Plummer appear to be pleading guilty to drug trafficking when she was in fact not. Osman stated that the translation issues have postponed the trial to Christmas day. This time she will have a professional interpreter appointed by Plummer’s defense team.
While International Translating Company doesn’t offer legal advice on drug trafficking, we can provide a professional interpreter that will correctly convey your message. Whether you use ITC or not, make sure you use an interpreter service that vets and qualifies interpreters. It never saves time or money using a poor linguist. We offer a wide range of translation services in an endless list of specialties, in 230 languages.