Polanski relieved after court rejects US extradition request in child sex case

31 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Film-maker Polanski relieved after court rejects US extradition request in child sex case.

A Polish court’s decision on Friday against extraditing Oscar-winning director Roman Polanski to the United States, where he admits raping a 13-year-old girl, is the latest twist in a case that dates back to 1977. Oscar-winning filmmaker Roman Polanski said on Friday he was grateful and relieved after a Polish court rejected a US request for his extradition over a 1977 child sex conviction.

LOS ANGELES — An attorney for a woman who was sexually assaulted by Roman Polanski when she was 13 praised yesterday (Oct 31)’s refusal of a Polish judge to send the Oscar-winning director to Los Angeles for sentencing. “I sent a letter of congratulations to Mr. March 10: Polanski, aged 43, invites 13-year-old Samantha Gailey (now Samantha Geimer) to take part in a fashion photo session at the Hollywood home of actor Jack Nicholson. The case of the Polish-born Polanski, now 82, remains an international cause celebre nearly four decades after the crime, with some demanding harsh punishment and others urging that extradition efforts be dropped. But an appeal – if successful – could make an extradition likely, because the new Law and Justice party government to be installed in November has indicated there would be no leniency for Polanski, as it makes a point of applying laws strictly and equally to all.

Should the court make a legally binding decision to grant the US request, it will be up to the justice minister to decide on the fate of the 82-year-old Polanski. Ms Shiara Davila-Morales, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, said its position on the case remains the same and the agency would have no further comment. Polanski’s lawyers argued that the victim in the original case did not desire jail time for the director, and that the original trial’s judge violated Polanski’s legal rights.

The Associated Press does not typically name sex abuse victims, but Ms Geimer has publicly identified herself in court filings, interviews and a memoir. Lawyers have said they understood from a private conversation with the judge that the time in prison would be Polanski’s punishment, but they said the judge later suggested Polanski would go back to prison, at which point he fled to France. As the Times notes, the threat of extradition could still loom if prosecutors decide to appeal the decision, and this is not the first time Polanski has faced the possibility of extradition decades since he fled the U.S. in 1978 after he feared his negotiated guilty plea would leave to a lengthy jail sentence.

It’s difficult to describe how much time, energy and effort this costs, how much suffering it brought on my family,” Polanski told a news conference in Krakow. Los Angeles prosecutors have repeatedly called for Polanski’s return to the US, and judges have repeatedly ruled that Polanski must appear in court to resolve the case.

He won an Academy Award for best director for his 2002 film “The Pianist” and was nominated for 1974’s “Chinatown” and 1979’s “Tess.” Polanski’s movements are restricted by an Interpol warrant in 188 countries, but he is avoiding extradition by remaining in France, Poland and Switzerland. November 25: A Swiss court authorises Polanski’s release on bail and on the condition that he remains under effective house arrest at his chalet in the Swiss resort of Gstaad. But he said Polanski’s right to a fair trial and right of defence had been “grossly and repeatedly violated” over the years by several U.S. judges and prosecutors, including when the first bargain deal was annulled. He said the defendant’s rights had often been curtailed, judges had failed to live up to standards of judicial independence and Polanski had already been sufficiently punished. Polanski appeared, too, to refer to this, saying: “If any decision were to be based on facts, there are so many elements in the case that are in my favour, that I see no risk.

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