DAWADMI: One of the interpreters who translated the statements of a
Sri Lankan maid sentenced to death in 2007 for the alleged murder of a
Saudi baby in her care will not appear in court since he has left the
Kingdom for good, the high court announced yesterday.
to an objection raised by Kateb Al-Shammari, the lawyer representing
Rizana Nafeek, Chief Justice Abdullah Al-Rosaimi said the interpreter,
Mustaffa Saibo, had left the Kingdom on an exit visa according to his
Reacting to the news, Al-Shammari said the court could
not come to a conclusion without questioning the veracity of Saibo’s
statements on which the death sentence was based.
The Dawadmi high court reviewed the case yesterday on the instructions of the Supreme Judicial Council.
interpreter involved in the case, Karim Mawiya Cader Mohammed, appeared
in court yesterday with his employer who vouched for his integrity.
the last hearing held on Aug. 30, Al-Shammari told the court that he
wanted to know whether Mohammed — an ethnically non-Tamil who has been
working for an electronics company in Dawadmi for 20 years and is
originally from India’s Karnataka state — is proficient in Tamil to
interpret Nafeek’s statements to the police and in court.
court told the attorney that it would summon two witnesses to the next
hearing to vouch for the translator’s honesty, integrity and ability to
translate from Tamil.
Mohammed told the court that he translated
Nafeek’s statement in May 2005 when she was brought to Dawadmi from
Jezma. “I come to courts on request for translation purposes and I am
paid SR100 per case,” Mohammed told Arab News, adding that he knows
Tamil, which is widely spoken in India’s Tamil Nadu state and Sri Lanka.
his written submission, Al-Shammari argued that Nafeek was never hired
to be a nanny and that the death occurred due to her inexperience in
dealing with newborn children. A three-member bench, led by Al-Rosaimi,
decided to hold the next hearing on Jan. 4.
Yesterday marked the
sixth time Nafeek appeared at the Dawadmi court since the baby’s death
in May 2005. The court sentenced her to death in June 2007, and the
ruling was appealed a month later. In December 2007, the Cassation
Court sent the case back to Dawadmi high court. In March this year, the
court sent the case to the Supreme Judicial Council, which ordered the
judges to hear the defense attorney’s objections.