Judge orders new translations of testimony given by Röszke defendants

April 29, 2016


The trial of seven individuals charged with throwing rocks at Hungarian police at the Horgos-Röszke border crossing with Serbia last summer has taken a bizarre turn.  A judge has ordered a new translation of the defendants’ testimony after determining that the official translation contained numerous mistakes, some apparently on purpose.

According to Index.hu, a translation company had gone over the document and found that:

  • The translation contains information not given in the original statement, and omits other information;
  • One part of the translation “was completely fabricated and is not the result of translation”; and
  • The translation deliberately changes the context of certain statements.

The criminal trial, which started in mid-March, will determine the fate of seven migrants charged with throwing rocks and hitting Hungarian law enforcement personnel at the Rőszke border crossing. None of the defendants have pleaded guilty.

One of the defendants was shocked to learn that his official statement in Hungarian was completely different from the statement given in his native tongue. The original was written in Arabic and differed significantly from the one read back to him in court by the court’s interpreter. The judge promised to investigate the matter.

According to the defendant, his interrogators tried to get him to admit throwing rocks and tried to have him sign untranslated notes of the questioning.