The CCS of the Supreme Court expressed itself regarding the involvement of an interpreter in a criminal trial

The right of participants in court proceedings to use the services of an interpreter is realized by submitting relevant applications or petitions to the court. The court is not obliged to involve an interpreter in the trial in the absence of such motions or statements.

Positions of the courts of the first and appellate instances: according to the verdict of the local court PERSON_1, PERSON_2 and PERSON_3 were found guilty and sentenced under part 2 of Art. 186 of the Criminal Code. According to the same verdict, PERSON_3, PERSON_1, PERSON_2 were found not guilty of the criminal offenses provided for in parts 2 and 3 of Art. 186 of the Criminal Code (for individual episodes), and was justified due to lack of evidence in their actions of the composition of these criminal offenses.
The appellate court left the said verdict unchanged.
The decision of this court was annulled by the decision of the CCS and a new trial was ordered in the court of appeal. According to the verdict of the appellate court, the verdict of the local court was canceled in the part of the punishment imposed on PERSON_1, PERSON_2 and PERSON_3.
As stated in the cassation appeals of PERSON_1 and PERSON_2, the appellate court violated their right to defense during the sentencing, as it did not involve PERSON_2's defense, taking into account the fact that he does not fully speak the Ukrainian language, and PERSON_1 (for the same reasons) – an interpreter.
The position of the CCS: the verdict of the appellate court was left unchanged.
Justification of the position of the Criminal Court: as can be seen from the materials of the criminal proceedings, the convicted PERSON_1 and PERSON_2 are citizens of Ukraine, natives of the Donetsk region, live in Ukraine, although they did not admit their guilt during the trial, they understood the essence of the accusation. That is, they did not have any difficulties related to the trial of the accusation brought against them in terms of understanding the language in which the proceedings are conducted. In the preparatory court session, the convicted PERSON_1 and PERSON_2 and their lawyers did not object to the trial without an interpreter.
In the course of the trial, none of them claimed that they do not know the Ukrainian language and did not object to the trial of the criminal proceedings in the absence of an interpreter. In addition, the defenders noted that in the event of the need to involve an interpreter, they will file a corresponding request. The position of their defenders was also supported by the convicted PERSON_1 and PERSON_2. In the future, the criminal proceedings were considered without the involvement of an interpreter, and for these reasons the defense did not appeal the verdict of the local court in the appeal procedure.
The rules of the Criminal Procedure Code do not provide for an obligation for the court to engage an interpreter, unless such necessity is established. At the same time, participants in court proceedings exercise their rights, including the right to use the services of an interpreter, by submitting appropriate statements or petitions. Accordingly, their non-submission indicates that there is no need, for example, to involve an interpreter.
Since the courts did not establish the fact that in this criminal proceeding PERSON_2 does not speak the language in which the criminal proceedings are conducted, the panel of judges of the CCS does not see grounds for recognizing the participation of a defense attorney as mandatory.
Resolution of the Supreme Court of the panel of judges of the First Chamber of the Criminal Court of Cassation in case No. 570/328/17 .
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