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Translation woes hit athlete's trial

By Hilary Duncanson

The trial of a Commonwealth Games weightlifter accused of sexually assaulting a man in a supermarket has been adjourned until next week following difficulties finding an interpreter.

Papua New Guinea athlete Toua Udia (22) denies carrying out the alleged assault at a Tesco store in Dalmarnock Road, Rutherglen, South Lanarkshire, on July 21 and was due to stand trial today.

But Glasgow Sheriff Court heard that efforts to find an interpreter for the accused have so far proved "completely fruitless" throughout the UK.

His defence lawyer argued that, in the circumstances, it was not appropriate for the case to continue, but the prosecution asked for the trial to be delayed.

Sheriff Norman Ritchie QC adjourned the trial until Monday morning. Udia was arrested following a report of an incident at the supermarket near the athletes' village.

He pleaded not guilty to the single charge he faces under the 2009 Sexual Offences Act.

His defence lawyer told the hearing that it was initially thought Udia, who understands some English, would not need an interpreter if long and difficult words were not used.

But as preparations for the trial continued, it became clear an interpreter would be required.

Ian Moir, defending, told the court of difficulties faced by the authorities in securing the services of an interpreter.

Belfast Telegraph


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