1 August 2014
Games weightlifter has 'sex attack' trial put off due to no interpreter
A Games weightlifter accused of sexually assaulting a man in a supermarket had his trial adjourned because no interpreter was available.
Papua New Guinea athlete Toua Udia, 22, was due to go on trial at Glasgow Sheriff Court on Friday but it was brought to the court's attention an interpreter is needed.
He is accused of molesting a man in a toilet at the Tesco store in the city's Dalmarnock, near to the official Athletes' Village where Udia is staying.
It is claimed Udia, a champion weightlifter in his homeland, did "sexually assault" the other man and that he "intentionally or recklessly" touched his privates during the alleged incident on July 21. He denies the charge.
Defence laywer Ian Moir told the court before the trial was due to start: "He only appeared on Tuesday of last week in the custody court at which time he was granted bail on the condition he surrendered his passport.
"I explained to the sheriff who was sitting, Mr Udia's position so far as his understanding of the procedure is concerned, as long as nobody used long or difficult words he understood English.
"He did not consider he would need an interpreter. However, he said during a consultation earlier in the week it became apparent an interpreter was needed to understand the complex issues in the case".
Mr Moir added: "The accused is from Papa New Guinea, a country in which in excess of 800 languages and dialects are spoken.
"The accused speaks Motu and Tok Pisin. Efforts were made throughout Thursday by the clerk's department to secure the services of an appropriate interpreter and these efforts were unsuccessful."
Sheriff Ritchie told the court the trial cannot proceed without an interpreter and said: "I have to exceed with considerable hesitation to the Crown motion."
Udia's bail was continued and the case continued until August 4, when the trial is expected to take place.