Court News

Bulgarians’ case hits language barrier

CHAMBO NG’UNI, Kabwe
TWO Bulgarians arrested in Kabwe two years ago for allegedly accessing data and prohibition of illegal trade and commerce using a Finance Bank Limited automated teller machines (ATM) failed to take plea because of language barrier.
Ivanov Andrey Petrov, 42, of no fixed abode and his co-accused Velidolsk Kiril Metodiew, 39, facing 22 counts, on Wednesday appeared before Kabwe magistrate Chimuka Mutafela.
In another case, Kabwe principal resident magistrates John Mbuzi on December 26, 2013, sentenced Petrov and Metodiev to five years imprisonment each for being in possession of implements of forgery but they appealed in the Kabwe High Court which reduced their sentences to two years each.
When the matter came before Mr Mutafela, he said he could not proceed with plea because Metodiev did not understand Russian.
Mr Mutafela said before adjourning the matter to December 4, 2015 that the court was made to believe that both Petrov and Metodiev understood Russian and efforts were made to bring an interpreter who speaks Russian.
“I did not know that Petrov is the one who speaks Russian. We cannot make any progress because information will be distorted,” Mr Mutafela said.
“The court is not only interested to finish this matter but justice should be seen to be done.”
He said this when Petrov informed the court that Metodiev did not speak Russian and was going to interpret to him in Bulgarian.
He said while the court appreciated that Prisons Future Foundation brought Mr John Nkhoma to interpret in Russian, it could not proceed with plea until someone was brought to interpret in Bulgarian.
He said the accused persons should understand court proceedings for them to know what is happening.
“This means that we have no choice but to look for an interpreter who can interpreter Bulgarian for the last time,” Mr Mutafela said.
The two allegedly committed the offences between December 15 and December 17, 2013 in Kabwe at Finance Bank Limited using internet to transmit data from accounts for fraudulent transactions.

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