Pfas process, the Court of Vicenza calls the arbitrator to interpret the testimony of the attorney general of the United States and the hearing is not admissible.

Pfas process, the Court of Vicenza calls the arbitrator to interpret the testimony of the attorney general of the United States and the hearing is not admissible.

The state does not even have the power to choose a translator in the most important pollution trial that is being celebrated in Italy. When private companies sued before the court of Assizes for environmental disaster caused by Pfas, which is entitled to compensation of millions of euros, using a bilingual translator who pays 600 euros per hour, the Court instead used a high school graduate of the language, chosen by means of estimation to say the least. For him, who seemed like a blessing, a daily allowance of only 50 euros. The situation, to say the least, came up in an important hearing, if only because the US attorney was cited as a witness. Albert Bilott gained prominence in the late 1990s with a lawsuit against DuPont, which resulted in a $671 million settlement with the chemical giant, which benefited 3,500 victims in West Virginia. He is a professional who pays invoices of a few million euros a year and who has come especially from the United States to be told to return in a few days, due to the difficulty of understanding.

Bilott’s connection to the Veneto case stems from the fact that DuPont had previously exchanged information on dangerous perfluoroalkyl substances with the Trissino Rubber company, in the province of Vicenza. It is proof that in Italy the negative effects on the human body of Pfas, resistant to dilution and expulsion by the human body, were known. Lin Miteni he is accused of poisoning the groundwater in the provinces of Vicenza, Verona and Paduain an area where almost 350,000 people live who have been drinking Pfas for many years by turning on the water pipe in their homes and using the drain.

A translator was called in to understand what lawyer Bilott had to say, but after only a few lines he indicated (although he spoke English) that he could not support a correct simultaneous translation, especially for technical terms. Initially, the President of the Court asked the interpreter of the accused companies to add the version. After a few questions it was obvious to everyone that there was a risk of misunderstanding, in such a delicate and important testimony, if not. translation agreement in crossing the versions of the Court and the defense counsel.

Therefore, Judge Antonella Crea stopped the case, looking for a new translator. A journalist with two degrees and a special qualification certificate had also volunteered to take the job, but the President of the Court told him that for one year he would no longer be able to write an article about the Pfas case. Finally, a third person was called, but since he must come from Piedmont, the trial was postponed until May 25. And so the president of the Court had no choice but to apologize to lawyer Bilott and tell him to come back in a few days. The lawyers, used to seeing all kinds of obstacles in criminal cases, limited themselves to smiling. However, the public contributed, including Mamme No Pfas and civil society to the shame of the judicial system. The translator had been called by phone through friends of the Court staff. No one had asked him for his language curriculum. If they did, they would confirm that he has a high school diploma in languages ​​and has worked in the American center of Aviano, in the province of Pordenone, but he has no experience in translating at the same time, especially in a technical language that also requires a wealth of knowledge from for a criminal case. For a day’s work he would receive an amount of 50 euros, more or less 5 euros per hour, given that the interview would continue until the evening. The translator on behalf of the companies that own the Trissino factory (Mitsubishi Corporation and Icig) receives 600 euros for each hour spent in the classroom.

The administrative director of the Court of Vicenza, interviewed by journalists, explained that there is no register of translators, if not a national list. In short, we often draw on the basis of knowledge, without prior assurance of knowledge. The situation is especially surprising in a reality like Vicenza which has two American bases (Caserma Ederle and Camp Del Din) with about 16,000 troops and soldiers. It turns out that the US military has a problem with Italian justice and therefore translations from English should be normal.