In all criminal proceedings, whether this involves interviewing the witnesses
or written procedures such as notifying the participants to appear for the trial, the language used is Portuguese.
When someone who doesn’t speak Portuguese has to participate in the proceedings
, the authority responsible for the procedure in question requests the appointment of an interpreter who speaks both Portuguese and the participant's language well. For example, if a witness is Russian and doesn’t speak Portuguese well, an interpreter is appointed whose task is to translate to Portuguese what the witness says in Russian and to Russian what is said to or asked of the witness.
An interpreter is also appointed when it is necessary to translate documents from a foreign language.
When a person who is deaf or has a hearing impairment has to give evidence, a sign language interpreter is appointed. If the witness is unable to speak, the questions are asked orally and the witness responds in writing.
The interpreter plays a key role in ensuring that those involved understand what is said and participate effectively in the proceedings.
The appointment of an interpreter doesn’t imply any costs for the participant needing this service.