Court: Translation Issues With Czech Defendant

April 3, 2018

[Written by Don Burgess]

It was a case of “Who is your lawyer?” as a man with limited English speaking skills was shown photos of various barristers in an effort to find out who was representing him.

Josef Vleck, 47, from the Czech Republic, was allegedly caught with almost three kilograms of heroin, worth approximately $8.5 million in September 2017.

Mr Vleck was previously represented by Charles Richardson, who was not able to attend the arraignments session. His interpreter apparently did not show up, and Mr Vleck was not able to name who he wanted to be his new counsel.

Puisne Judge Charles-Etta Simmons was apparently able to narrow down that it was a female lawyer.

Members in the courtroom then Googled photos of various female lawyers which were then shown to Mr Vleck.

At first, it was thought he wanted Susan Mulligan, and after a phone call from Liz Christopher, Ms Mulligan rushed over to the Dame Lois Browne-Evans Building. After she arrived, Mr Vleck was able to tell the court she was not the lawyer he was searching for.

Mr Vleck was shown photos from different cell phones. His case was then adjourned until the afternoon.

Victoria Greening showed up, and Mr Vleck was able to confirm through a translator app provided by Crown Counsel Carlington Mahoney that indeed Ms Greening was the lawyer he wanted.

Judge Simmons said, “I want him to be able to confirm for me that you’re the lady” he wants to represent him.

Ms Greening typed something into the translator app to which Mr Vleck said “Yes.” She then said “I should show you want I actually typed,” saying that it wasn’t do you like chocolate?

She then showed the court the app.

Ms Greening said as this was the first time she had spoken to her client she needed to get his case files.

Mr Vleck’s next scheduled appearance is April 16.

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