BVI News

Language barrier thwarts court proceedings for accused Albanians

These Albanians are charged for illegal entry into the British Virgin Islands.

The criminal proceedings against two men from Albania – a small coastal country in South-Eastern Europe – has been postponed due to a language barrier.

The men, Valdet Tafhasaj and Fatlind Cenaj were first brought before Magistrate Ayanna Baptiste-DaBreo for illegal entry on Wednesday. However, the proceedings had to be pushed to Thursday at 11 am because there were no Albanian interpreters present at court.

Magistrate DaBreo used the Google Translator application to communicate with the Albanian duo to inform them that they would be returning to court the next day.

On Thursday, when the matter was recalled — this time before Magistrate Christilyn Benjamin — there was an Italian interpreter present.

The court heard that one of the men spent four years in Italy and had a basic understanding of that country’s language. He would then be required to interpret what was being said by the court to his co-accused in their native tongue.

However, this brought a new issue into question. BVI News understands that it was against court protocol to have a defendant interpret for another defendant.

Another issue was the fact that Italian was not his first language. And after a more-than-one-hour recess, the magistrate said the matter would be recalled before the court for the third time next Monday.

“It will not be in the interest of justice to proceed without an Albanian interpreter,” Magistrate Benjamin argued.

She then said no effort would be spared in the court’s quest to obtain an independent Albanian interpreter for the proceedings. Magistrate Benjamin further ordered that the accused men — who have been in police custody since they were first arrested on Monday — be remanded at Her Majesty’s Prison in Balsam Ghut.

The men are represented by attorney-at-law Leroy Jones.

Copyright 2020 BVI News, Media Expressions Limited. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or distributed.

50 Comments

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  1. Kingfish says:

    It is best to deport/release them, the cost to find and bring into the BVI an interpreter for such a minor offense will not make financial sense.

    Like 48
    Dislike 6
    • Surprised, US says:

      That the Albanians have made it to the BVI shores. Those Albanians are a rough set. Hope the gypsies don’t start heading that way.

      Like 18
      Dislike 7
    • Why says:

      Why did they enter illegally and how did they do so? When writing these stories how about some background. They obviously passed through other countries to get here. Even if they sailed all the way they had to resupply. So….. instead of writing a story about no translator give the background. Further, kick them out and be done with them. That’s what the US does under Trump and it’s working!!! B

      Like 20
      Dislike 5
      • Really????? says:

        Are u native American because otherwise if your ancestors were treated with the same ignorant ideology when they smuggled themselves in this country several hundred years ago under some refugee B’s they would have ended up in some monarchs mass graves in Europe you stupid fool. If someone is putting so much effort and money to get here you should think on how to reep the benefits unless you feel threaten by a coupe of people who don’t even speak your language . I guess I answered my own question…my bad.

        Like 5
        Dislike 2
    • Secret Bear says:

      Minor or major offense, doesn’t matter. It’s a grave violation of someone’s human rights to charge them with/convict them of a crime when they don’t understand the proceedings. They’re doing the right thing by finding an interpreter.

      Like 15
      Dislike 1
    • Really????? says:

      Are u native American because otherwise if your ancestors were treated with the same ignorant ideology when they smuggled themselves in this country several hundred years ago under some refugee B’s they would have ended up in some monarchs mass graves in Europe you stupid fool. If someone is putting so much effort and money to get here you should think on how to reep the benefits unless you feel threaten by a coupe of people who don’t even speak your language . I guess I answered my own question…my bad.

  2. WHAT?? says:

    Albanians???

    Like 6
    Dislike 4
  3. moo moos says:

    all they have to do is down load the language app

    • TruDat! says:

      Internationally there are very reliable phone services that could be contracted for the case – they are frequently used by the NHS in the UK when a translation is needed. We don’t need to bring anyone here – it’s 2020, use the technology that’s available. A speakerphone in the courthouse and a few hours of translating service is the only expense we should incur.

      Like 22
    • Jdale says:

      The language apps don’t work well, especially with intricate language. They may have a simple paperwork error, not necessarily illegal entry. I’m sure in time they could find someone via telephone.

    • Howie says:

      All you have to do is learn to spell “download”.

  4. GREAT CAREER says:

    Given all this its would be a good opportunity for a BVI lander to peruse a career as a court interpreter in many languages . Give a few scholarships for court interceptors because we are living in a global world and we will see lots more of these cases with Chines, French and many more foreign language offenders.

    • Nope says:

      That’s too hard so won’t happen.

      Like 4
      Dislike 1
    • Hmm says:

      1. There are BVIslanders living in BVI married to Albanians.
      2. Proficiencies in other languages has unfortunately never been encouraged or facilitated by our myopic sighted government. Counting from 1-20 in Spanish will not cut it.

  5. Watchers says:

    So much competentinterpretors in the xountry and the courts still.struggling g to find one.

    Like 3
    Dislike 1
  6. enough says:

    It is too easy for persons to enter illegally into the BVI this is really bad

  7. Enforcer says:

    Albanians play hard ball. The BVI authorities dear not allow them into the BVI. They are hardcore. Drugs, prostitution, money laundering, human trafficking, guns, You name it.

    Like 9
    Dislike 9
  8. language says:

    Language barrier my A$$ …. they could well peak the engis

    Like 2
    Dislike 2
  9. mmmario says:

    I speak the language fluently and could assist but i don’t think they will pay for my flight there and back…i did this for the court in the BVI many years ago this time was in spanish to english.

    Like 2
    Dislike 5
  10. Haha says:

    These “minor offences” were intended to have major impacts. If you think these guys just illegally entered the BVI to enjoy our beaches you’ll be wrong.

  11. Soo says:

    These are very serious comments. Let’s hope that only two so far entered and were caught.

  12. Ok says:

    They cannot speak the language, they enter the Country the illegal way, the best thing to do is put them on a flight and let them go.

  13. Dream Killer says:

    Mr Penn in prison doing time, He can speak eleven languages why not let be the interpret for the court?

  14. John says:

    Yeah Albanians mother lover,learn some geography,the oldest nation in Europe.

  15. Anonymous says:

    No matter how many times you deport them they will enter again and again I used to enter Europe as many times as I wanted when I was on my teens every time I got arrested next week I would go back make a couple hundred thousand dollars and go to different country live i live my life my way not what this countries want.

  16. They are humans just like us says:

    No one like to be hated or being told that you are bad person because everyone is not the same. Maybe they are here for a better reason to be safe and have a descent future. However if our gov do search for their backgrounds and they are sound then they should have a chance as they haven’t done anything wrong suppose they are not crimmimals otherwise they would of been in prison and sent back without being mentioned here. Just saying before you guys start judging my opinion..

    Like 1
    Dislike 1
  17. Shqipe says:

    What’s with all of the discriminating and calling about the Albanians? Everyone needs to look at themselves on a mirror and see what kind of a person you are. Making discriminating remarks of others that you you’d even know who they are isn’t right at all to do that. I’ve also seen a lot of misspelled words in your writing. It’s not for labeling someone without knowing them.

  18. Albanian Atlanta says:

    Desperation must have been high to go all the way to BVi
    Clearly there are Albanian Interpreters available by phone. These guys don’t know Italian at all not sure why they even brought one . They will be deported back to Albania period

    • Blackdontcrack says:

      We are aware of the damnjng situation I Tiarana no jobs for young people and a corrupt government that unfortunately means it cant join the EU… it’s sad because Albanians are a kind nation of people

  19. Anonymous says:

    F*** serbia

  20. Albanian Shkupi says:

    There are lot of Albanian/English interpreters around they just dont want to be involved in that. and yes lot of Albanians speak Italian they might understand some. Anyway at this time 2020 just use a translater it might not translate 100% but they will get the point if you translate some of it and the rest I’m pretty sure they will understand,

  21. Anonymous says:

    Suck my **** all u racist

  22. Blackdontcrack says:

    The fact that your so called great nation was built on immigration I’m amused by these racist comments. There are bad people in all races dont get it twisted.

  23. Vi bound says:

    Google translate works just fine

  24. Concerned Albanian says:

    They were most likely involved in perverse adventure.

  25. AWEW E says:

    TOO MANY EUROPEANS ARE POURING IN

  26. Thought says:

    how is Mr Jones representing them? do he speak albanian?

  27. Yazoo says:

    “Albania – a small coastal country in South-Eastern Europe”.

    Seriously? Does BVINEWS think we are so stupid that we don’t know where Albania is? With our amazing standard of education, surely they should know… Oh wait….

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