Thursday, June 09, 2005

Police Station Disclosure

I went off to a Police Station the other evening and dealt with one person involved in a three handed case for possession with intent to supply drugs. The Police were being cautious with their disclosure and provided me with a typed sheet.

Initially I spoke with a TDC who was giving verbal answers to the majority of my questions on disclosure (this was in addition to the typed disclosure). She even gave me the premises search book 101 to look through. Her colleague then joined the room and her answers to my questions changed to: "I believe you have been given sufficient disclosure".

I was quite keen to know what the two other Co-defendants had said but the Police would not disclose what they had said in interview. I then had a consultation with my Client and the interpreter who had been assisting the Police with all three Defendants. I sat down and obtained full details of the case from the interpreter. The Police were quite surprised to learn in the interview that I had full knowledge of the Co-defendant's accounts but they should have foreseen that the interpreter was going to spill the beans and it was pointless trying to withhold disclosure from me.


Chris said...

I wonder what the legal position is for interpreters, not particularly applicable to this case perhaps, do they have a duty confidentiality towards their 'client' if that confidentiality would aid in the clients defence?

Gavin said...

I think that most interpreters who are on the 'register' to do Police Station work are bound by their registers requirements to keep information confidential. But the reality of the situation is if any interpreter is used they may not be bound by confidentiality and therefore they might well talk about instructions and interviews.

Anonymous said...

I am an interpreter and I can confirm that we are not allowed to share this kind of information with anybody, especially solcitors. I don't think the police officers will ever use the same person again. By the way, everybody makes mistakes, why didn't you give that silly interpreter a chance by keeping it to yourself?

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