WASHINGTON, Oct. 14 (UPI) -- Defense lawyers at the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba, are raising concerns about the quality of the Arabic interpreters offered inmates.
The attorneys say a lot is literally being lost in translation as they confer with their clients, who include prisoners charged in connection with the Sept. 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the United States.
The Washington Post Tuesday said a linguist working for one defense team stated that half of what the court interpreter relayed was incorrect.
"Regular omissions, or mistranslations of key words or phrases often led to disjointed, incomprehensible or misleading translations into both English and Arabic," said lawyers for 9/11 defendant Mustafa Ahmed al-Hawsawi's in a recent motion seeking to postpone his trial until a better interpreter can be found.
Military and federal government officials told the Post that the interpreters are native-level speakers and are as good as would be found in a civilian court. Nevertheless, the Pentagon is instituting new controls to address the lawyers' concerns.