Worker's Case Was Lost in Translation

The Israel Police's track record of hiring unqualified Chinese interpreters is a lengthy one. Yandong Wang, a Chinese construction worker, was arrested in Rishon Letzion this past February after he engaged in an altercation with other workers. For eight months he was placed under house arrest without any indictment being filed against him. He was also not summoned to any court hearing.

The delay in his case was due to police negligence in hiring a Chinese interpreter with inadequate knowledge of Hebrew. After a court ruled that the investigation suffered from poor translation, another translator was hired.

A few months later, an Israeli translator with experience in teaching martial arts and who lived in the Far East was brought in, but he too was disqualified by the court.

Ultimately, an indictment was issued a full eight months after the initial arrest of Yandong. This was made possible only after his lawyer, Nachmi Finblat, provided an interpreter. The evidence stage of the trial is expected to begin this coming March.