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