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Criminal Procedure

Interpreter Delay Spurs Dismissal

Posted Jul 24, 2007 11:03 AM CDT
By Debra Cassens Weiss

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Prosecutors are appealing a Maryland judge’s decision to dismiss rape charges against a Liberian immigrant because of delays in finding an interpreter.

Judge Katherine Savage of Rockville dismissed the case against Mahamu Kanneh last week, the Washington Post reports. He had been accused of raping a 7-year-old girl who was a relative.

Kanneh’s lawyers had contended the delay violated his right to a speedy trial. He was arrested in August 2004 and was free on bail. He speaks Vai, the language of about 100,000 people in Liberia and Sierra Leone.

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