Trial stalls as defendant only knows Patois

September 21, 2023

A Haitian woman who arrived in Jamaica illegally has had her case adjourned for the second time in two weeks, due to the language barrier.

The absence of a French interpreter has stalled the resolution of the case involving Mirielle Valcin, who is charged with illegal entry. The matter was further hindered as Parish Judge Venise Blackstock-Murray indicated that it was not possible for the court to hear the matter in Jamaican Patois, which Valcin reportedly understands.

"She understands the language, the Jamaican Patois, very well," the investigator said.

"That is not how this court operates. There is no interpreter and anyone who attends court needs to understand what is happening," Judge Blackstock-Murray indicated, before ordering prosecutors to write to the Court Administration Division to facilitate the attendance of an interpreter.

Valcin was remanded for the third time until September 26. - T.T.

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