Masaka High Court Judge Winfred Nabisinde has for the third time adjourned the trial of Bernhard Berry Glaser, a Kalangala-based German national, accused of molesting children due to absence of a language interpreter.
On Friday, Justice Nabisinde told court that they made efforts to get a language interpreter through both the embassies of Germany and Belgium in Kampala but did not succeed.
During one of his court appearances last month, Mr Glaser said he was not conversant with English and preferred to use Flemish, a dialect spoken in Belgium.
“Following the refusal of the first interpreter we had secured, we managed to write letters to the German Embassy through the Ministry of Internal Affairs asking for an interpreter, but they declined on grounds that Germany uses German language, not Flemish,” the judge said.
Justice Nabisinde also revealed that after receiving a negative response from the German Embassy, they wrote to the embassy of Belgium, which also declined the invitation saying Mr Glaser is not their national.
She said court then wrote to Makerere University Institute of Languages, which told them that they had no capacity to secure the required interpreter.
The court, she said, is still making further efforts to get an interpreter for the case to proceed.
Mr Glaser’s legal team led by Mr Caleb Alaka sought temporary release of their client on bail, informing court that their client was on October 21 taken to Kitovu Hospital in Masaka for treatment and the doctor realised that he had a big wound, which urgently needed treatment .
“The accused can no longer open his mouth, cannot eat or chew anything, the medical team recommended that a tube be inserted in him and he urgently needs to be transferred to Mulago Cancer Institute,” Mr Alaka told court before asking the judge to look at Glaser’s wound.
Justice Nabisinde, however, ruled that Masaka Main Prison should make arrangements for Glaser to be taken to Murchison Bay, Luzira, for treatment until December 3 when court hopes to get an interpreter for the case to proceed.
Glaser, the director of Ssese Humanitarian Service, a non-governmental organisation located at Mwena Landing Site in Kalangala District, faces eight charges of aggravated defilement and 19 counts of aggravated child trafficking.
He was first arrested in December 2013, on suspicion of sexually abusing 19 minors in his care in Kalangala. He was later acquitted by court after the State failed to get incriminating evidence against him.
In February this year, police detectives again raided Mr Glaser’s home in Kalangala and said they rescued at least 11 children in his care. Police did not find Mr Glaser at his home at the time.
He was arrested later when he presented himself at police.