Court seeks Chinese speaking Ghanaian interpreter

The Accra High Court yesterday, ordered the Chief Interpreter at the Judicial Service, Mr. Nathaniel Karikari, to arrange for the service of Chinese speaking Ghanaian interpreter.

The interpreter would be expected to assist the court in the case involving five Chinese, accused of engaging in illegal mining, popularly known as ‘galamsey’.

Presiding Judge, Mr. Justice Edward Ekow Baiden, gave the order, following request by the Department of the Attorney-General, being represented in court by Mrs. Yvonne Atakora Obuobisa, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP) and lawyer for the accused, Bernard Wiredu Darko.

The court, a couple of weeks ago, admitted the five alleged illegal miners- Gao Jin Cheng, 45, Lu Qi Jun, 39, Haibin Gao, 26, Zhang Zhipen, 23, and En Huang, 31, also known as Aisha Huang, to bail in the sum of GH¢ 500,000 each, with sureties to be justified.

Earlier, Mr. Karikari, the chief interpreter, invited Mr. Yong Chin Yog, a Chinese interpreter, and law student at the Ghana Institute of Management and Public Administration (GIMPA), but the State Attorney and lawyer of the accused, Mr. Donkor, insisted that they preferred a Ghanaian interpreter.


“Without any prejudice to his integrity, my Lord I will say that, we would have preferred a Ghanaian speaking Chinese interpreter to assist the court in this matter, especially the one who is not a lawyer, I mean somebody who will come here to assist the court mainly because of the language he speaks and not bring inadvertently his knowledge of the law into play when he interpreted,” Mrs. Obuobisa told the court.


The lawyer for the accused, Mr. Donkor, who earlier wanted to know the language proficiency of the Chinese interpreter and his province in China, explained that his point was enforced by the State Attorney.

But the judge reminded the lawyer that his (Wiredu’s) position was entirely different from the State Attorney, pointing out that the language proficiency, which the lawyer wanted to know, was not in doubt.


“I don’t have any reasonable ground to doubt his integrity, but to ensure that the defence is satisfied, and you are happy and you have no apprehension about the fair trial of the accused persons, I think that let’s allow the Chief interpreter to make the necessary arrangements,” Justice Baiden stated.

Mr. Wiredu, however, insisted that the dynamics associated with the politics of China, and other factors, were the reasons he raised those concerns.

“Your Lordship, it is the dynamics associated with the politics of China that is the reason I raised this issue and it is a genuine concern. The provinces in China have their own issues and it translates even into relationships among the members of the country,” he added.

The case has been adjourned to  July 21 and 31.


By Malik Sullemana      

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