asked Her Majesty's Government:
Following the cases of Sergeant Selman and others acquitted at court martial, what action they have taken to improve the translation and interpretation facilities available to investigators in-theatre; and [HL1202]
Following the cases of Sergeant Selman and others acquitted at court martial, what procedures have been put in place to ensure that all statements taken in the course of an investigation, particularly those requiring interpretation and translation, are read back to interviewees and an addendum signed to confirm this. [HL1203]
Since the investigation into the death of Ahmed Jaber Kareem which led to the court martial of Sergeant Selman and others, two dedicated interpreters have been recruited and permanently attached to the Royal Military Police (RMP) Special Investigation Branch (SIB) in Iraq.
It is standard RMP practice for statements taken in operational theatres to be recorded in the local language. The statement is then read by the witness (or read back to the witness if he or she cannot read), amended as necessary and signed by the witness (and by the interpreter if the witness cannot read). In line with civil police guidelines, witness interviews are audio recorded. On rare occasions where this is not possible, comprehensive notes are maintained. During major incident investigations, it is standard practice for key witness interviews to be video recorded.