Lack of Proper Translators
The conversations, which were originally recorded by Moses Stern, a businessman from Rockland County, need to be translated for the defence lawyers to go over but, so far, only 27 Yiddish translators have been found to fulfil the job. Gerald L. Shargel, Smith’s lawyer, has stated his concerns about the quality of the translations carried out by some of them appear to not have been proofread and others make little sense at all.
The lawyers for the Senator demanded to see the wiretapped conversations because they argued that they could contain exculpatory material that could affect the outcome of the bribery case. The prosecutors stated that they had decided not to turn them in because the information on which they dealt was mundane and irrelevant to the trial. Judge Karas, however, decided to grant Smith’s lawyers request last Tuesday and ordered the prosecutors to turn in the conversations carried out in a total of 9,000 telephone calls and text messages, after which the lawyers for the defence asked for more time to go through the large quantity of new material and translate the parts in Yiddish into English.
Judge Karas interviewed the five jurors and one alternate who stated that they could not serve for several extra weeks and decided that four of them had reasons which were legitimate enough to consider the postponement of the trial.