Judge says B.C. should pay for trans­la­tor for slain girl’s mom

Times Colonist - - British Columbia -

VAN­COU­VER — The mother of a 13-year-old girl found slain in a park in Burn­aby has re­quested a Man­darin trans­la­tor so she can un­der­stand court pro­ceed­ings, and a judge has rec­om­mended the province fund that re­quest.

The mother’s lawyer, Es­ther Korn­feld, told court her client’s friend trans­lated pro­ceed­ings last month af­ter a man ac­cused of the crime made his first ap­pear­ance.

Ibrahim Ali, 28, was back in court Fri­day, but Mar­risa Shen’s mother wasn’t in the gallery that was packed with peo­ple sup­port­ing the fam­ily of the girl who was found dead in a wooded area of Cen­tral Park on July 19, 2017.

Pro­vin­cial court Judge Har­bans Dhillon told Korn­feld she didn’t know whether she could “bind the hands of the min­is­ter,” who could con­sider pro­vid­ing fund­ing for a court-cer­ti­fied trans­la­tor.

The At­tor­ney Gen­eral’s Min­istry did not im­me­di­ately re­spond with a re­quest for com­ment.

Korn­feld said Mar­risa’s mother, who does not want her name pub­li­cized, has a re­strain­ing or­der against her ex-hus­band, her daugh­ter’s fa­ther, and would like her pri­vacy re­spected in court by hav­ing sher­iffs alerted to his pres­ence.

Dhillon said she would not con­sider that re­quest.

Ali, a Syr­ian na­tional who stood in­side a glassed-off area as an Ara­bic trans­la­tor in­ter­preted the pro­ceed­ings, is sched­uled to re­turn to court Nov. 23 to al­low the pros­e­cu­tion time to put to­gether dis­clo­sure ma­te­rial.

Crown coun­sel Daniel Porte said 10,000 pages of ma­te­rial have been com­piled.

Ali was ar­rested on Sept. 7, two weeks af­ter the In­te­grated Homi­cide In­ves­ti­ga­tion Team said it be­came aware of him as a sus­pect. He is fac­ing a first-de­gree mur­der charge.

Po­lice have said Ali came to Canada as a refugee about three months be­fore Mar­risa was killed and that he is a per­ma­nent res­i­dent, with a job and fam­ily in the coun­try.

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