This paper explores “impoliteness” in an authentic interpreter-mediated court examination. Drawing on Bousfield’s (2008) theoretical model of impoliteness, it describes the defendant’s verbal attacks on the judge, the interpreter and the counsel and examines the impact of the interpreter’s strategies on the dynamics and the direction of the interaction. The analysis reveals on the one hand that the interpreter regularly mitigates or omits intentional face attacks directed at the judge, which neutralizes their cumulative effect and results in the judge’s disempowerment. On the other hand, the interpreter seems to convey more accurately the offensive moves when they are directed at the defendant. Hence, the interpreter appears to be a pivotal element between primary speakers in the coordination of their face-work, the management of their power relations and their interactive positioning.