After a night on a park bench, Maria Novak steals a woman’s purse in a local market. After a brief struggle, the woman falls to the ground and Maria is arrested. She is taken to the Police Station but speaking virtually no Spanish, doesn’t understand what is going on. She is put in a cell and meets Inspector Gómez, who discovers she speaks English.

Maria Novak
A Polish girl
Alberto Gómez
Police inspector
Mrs Matos
Victim of theft
Bo Iliescu
Polish delinquent
Juan Pérez
Policeman #1
Pedro Telles
Policeman #2
Esther López

This clip gives the background to the Illiescu case, through the story of one of his victims, Maria Novak. The language barrier is apparent early on, together with the need to find an appropriately qualified interpreter.

  1. What potential problems are there if someone is arrested who does not speak the language of the country in which the arrest takes place?
  2. At what point should the need for an interpreter be addressed, and how can different languages be identified?
  1. Could identifying the need for an interpreter have taken place earlier?
  2. To what extent was this aspect of the arrest handled appropriately?

Subtitles: EN - ES - RO - PO