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Name: People v. Wang
Case #: B139328
Court: CA Court of Appeal
District 2 DCA
Division: 3
Opinion Date: 05/17/2001
Subsequent History: Rev. granted 9/12/01 (S098639)

Editor’s note: Review granted. In a preliminary hearing in an embezzlement case, the magistrate allowed admission of statements by a witness who worked for the victim company. The statements had been made in Mandarin Chinese, and then translated into English by the company’s office manager. The superior court set aside the information and dismissed, holding that although Proposition 115 allowed hearsay testimony at preliminary hearings, multiple hearsay was inadmissable, and the translation of the statements created a second level of hearsay. Further, the superior court held that there had been no showing of competency on the part of the translator. Here, the appellate court reversed. Translation of the statements did not create a second level of hearsay. The translator is merely a “language conduit.” The admission of the translated statements did not violate Wang’s confrontation clause rights. Wang was able to cross-examine concerning the circumstances under which the statements were made. The evidence was also sufficient to support a finding that the translation was accurate and reliable. There was no reason to think that there was any motive to translate the statements inaccurately, and the circumstances indicated that the translator was qualified. Therefore, there was sufficient evidence to hold Wang to answer and the information should not have been dismissed.