After a snafu with an interpreter in the Wichita case of a Rwandan man, a federal judge set out rules today for making sure it didn’t happen again.
U.S. Senior District Judge Monti Belot said he will give lawyers on both sides until Jan. 7 to agree on an interpreter in the case of Lazare Kobagaya.
Kobagaya’s lawyer said the defendant’s son had questioned the accuracy of the interpreter. Belot said neither he nor the lawyers could police interpreters in any case:“We must rely on the skill and integrity of the interpreter.”Belot said that although he wasn’t suggesting Kobagaya’s son had ulterior motives, the judge said he didn’t want family members further involved to such an extent in the legal proceedings:“Defendant is an adult and is a citizen. I will not permit interference by his family members, even well-intentioned interference … because there is no way for me to make family members responsible to the judicial process or to insure their objectivity.”The full letter: