The wheels of justice turn slowly
by Marty Carlson
The afternoon session started late like always in the judge’s finding of certification I believe in part of the Punjabi translator of yesterday’s. There were also some talking of moving the motions from tomorrow until next Wednesday at 830, and scheduling problems saying that Tuesday will probably start at 10 AM. This is always all subject to change as it does constantly.
Testimony finally restarted with Percy Martinez talking to the Newman police officer Singh to decide his qualification as a translator. He was asked if Frank Carson’s name was ever brought up at his church functions where he was used as an investigator in other activities other than translating, which the answer was no. He stated that some translations were done in Fresno with people from the Department of Justice, and some were done at the DA’s office the Modesto.
They went into a little bit of the officer’s history and he was originally started at Turlock Police Department in a non-sworn possession, then moved onto the Merced County Sheriff’s Department, and now landing in Newman Police Department.
When he was asked about Fresno he said the live wire taps were done in Fresno and spent about two weeks listening to live conversations with DOJ employees in Fresno. He was asked about how many letters there are in the Hindi alphabet and he stated he did not know. He also stated that he cannot read nor write Hindi. When asked to his supervisor was he stated that it was miss Sundahl, as she was the one leading the project. Miss Sindahl said the exact opposite.
He also stated that there were several corrections that he had to make on the other translator’s translations, and when the recordings needed to be translated they were done at the DAs office in Modesto under the leadership of Steve Jacobson.
He said are you in her to Frank Carson throughout his church community but did not know who he really was, but was so where of saying in his fiancée and another subject of the investigation but he could not recall the name of the other subject. There was also the mentioned that the Frank Carson nickname had been used several times in the recordings. He then stated that MS Sindahl was a one he went to when he had any questions about translations or procedures.
Defense attorney Hans began asking about when the witness said he remembered something during lunch break today and want to clarify from his testimony this morning, he stated he received no hard copies of translations it was all done on the computer. They use different ways of listening to the conversations on the computer sometimes just audio on the speakers and sometimes with headphones, and when they are on the speakers is usually with somebody else listening to.
Attorney Robert Forkner started asking him about what if he had heard Frank Carson’s voice on any recordings, but he said he could not recall too much but maybe one or two times. He was asked if the countywide gang task force was used in this case they said he was not aware, he also stated that he was not aware of who the Atty. Gen. people were, and he had several phone numbers to monitor. I must note to this officer had a hard time with recollection and recalling events when he was used, when he started being used, and in the other information about his involvement he was not able to give any particular dates or even estimate any dates.
The witness was taken off the stand at that time as there were no further questions and the judge had no further questions. The judge then called for some summaries on the certification issue of both Mr. Singh and Ms. Sundahl.
In summation of the DA’s argument which is always long-winded and ends up off-topic, basically she said he was born in the Fiji Islands uses Hindi for 19 years uses it every day and talking to his parents and his church activities he is been used many times to translate for other agencies and other officers on the street.
Percy Martinez then argued says talking and commenting was friends is different than in a legal manner that must be done for translators and having knowledge of the official legal duties of a translator, he also stated there were no official training by either translator in the past or in the present.
Defense attorney Hans argued the DA were never showed some translations that were entered into evidence as any proof of abilities. He also stated that the DAs making different claims about the translators than yesterday, mainly that the translations are intact in full form or impartial or minimization. He also stated that the transcript should have been done by a professional service to guarantee the accuracy and integrity.
Martha Magana stated looking at the transcripts there’s no way to tell which transcripts were done by who, in addition there is no way to tell which transcripts were alive or recorded. Apparently there is no notation or specifications in the records.
Mme. DA then argued that the defense had their opportunity to have these translations analyzed and if they’re going to question them they should take the responsibility of doing so. So apparently the DA has no responsibility in providing accuracy in presenting their case. Of course these comments raise objections by the defense attorneys with Percy Martinez objecting that the DAs arguing information not before the court.
Mme. DA went on to say the court is not heard the defense dispute the translations has been inaccurate. Mme. DA then started citing case law in regards to the requirements and obligations of translators. The judge was pretty sure she was familiar with what the law is.
Jesse Garcia argued that he was concerned that the DA thinks the fence is responsible to prove the accuracy or in accuracy of translators, and apparently feels that the DA’s office has no responsibilities in that matter, especially when they have guys in custody this long.
Percy Martinez at that time added to Jesse Garcia comment that the DA has the burden of proof not the defense when the file when the bringing charges against people. And to be honest with you that’s my understanding of the Constitution, but I have not seen that as of late. At that time all attorneys submitted for the judge to rule.
The judge determined that both translators were certified that they both its bacon the language for a long time and both of done it in court and a lot of different areas including in the personal lives and feels it is appropriate to certify them. She also stated the law does not require any type of education or training just a proper ability to communicate met language effectively.
The judge then certified both translators so there is no question apparently about the translations on these documents that is then presented to the court.
Starting on Monday we will hear recording and testimony from Steve Jacobson was in charge of the wire taps in this case and there been some more scheduling issues changed and the issue of motions that were scheduled for tomorrow have been changed.
So just to be clear there is no court tomorrow, and courtroom resume Monday morning at 10 AM