Roman Polanski can’t be extradited to US, has already served his punishment …

30 Oct 2015 | Author: | No comments yet »

Child Rapist Roman Polanski Still Free to Make Okay Movies as Poland Rejects Extradition Request.

A court in Poland ruled Friday that the law forbids the extradition of filmmaker Roman Polanski to the U.S., where he pleaded guilty nearly four decades ago to having sex with a minor. Roman Polanski cannot be extradited to the United States from Poland, a judge there ruled Friday, granting the famed director yet another legal reprieve in a case that has dogged him – and some Los Angeles prosecutors – for nearly 40 years.

KRAKOW, Poland – A Polish court on Friday rejected a U.S. request to extradite film-maker Roman Polanski over a 1977 child sex conviction, saying his extradition was inadmissible because the U.S. judiciary had repeatedly violated his rights. 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.

Judge Dariusz Mazur said the case is very complicated but an extradition procedure would violate the human rights of the 83-year-old Polanski because he could be subjected to confinement. “I find no rational answer to the question: what is the real point of the U.S. extradition request?” said Mazur, who spent more than two hours explaining his reasoning to the court in Krakow. 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.

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. Mazur insisted that Polanski served his punishment in confinement in the U.S., and later for 10 months — partly under house arrest — in Switzerland in 2009-2010 when the U.S. unsuccessfully sought his extradition there.

Polanski already beat a 2010 extradition application in Switzerland, but his recent residency in Poland filming a movie about Dreyfus—a Jewish French officer who was wrongfully convicted of spying for Germany during WWII—gave the U.S. another shot at bringing him back for sentencing. Mazur said U.S. judges and prosecutors in the case violated legal procedures, broke the plea bargain in 1977, denied Polanski the right to proper defense and appeared biased. 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. Though born in France, Polanski grew up in Poland, survived life in the Krakow Ghetto during the years of Nazi occupation during World War II and is considered a native son as well as one of the country’s most important artists. The U.S. can still appeal, but at least two people wish it wouldn’t: Polanksi and his victim, Samantha Geimer. “If they were smart, they’d stop trying to bring him back,” Geimer posted on Facebook Friday. “If they ever do, the truth about the corruption in the DA’s office and Court will finally be known.

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 effect in 188 countries, but he is avoiding extradition by remaining only in France, Poland and Switzerland. Along the way, he has won numerous accolades for his film work, including an Oscar that he could not accept in person in Los Angeles without, in effect, putting himself directly into the hands of the authorities there. It was at a film festival in Zurich, Switzerland, where Polanski had gone to collect a lifetime achievement award in 2009, that he found himself the closest he has been in years to being turned over to U.S. custody. He was eventually allowed out on condition that he remain sequestered in his spacious chalet in the Alpine city of Gstaad, a longtime winter playground of celebrities such as Elizabeth Taylor and Roger Moore.

But he said the time the Polish-born director had his freedoms restricted in various proceedings amounted to about a year-long jail term, way more than had been agreed under the first plea bargain. In July 2010, the Swiss Federal Department of Justice and Police rejected the extradition request, a decision that stunned those who thought the case against Polanski a strong one. Polanski’s U.S.-based lawyer Chad Hummel on Friday declined to comment on the Polish decision and the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office, which has long sought to bring the film maker to justice, could not immediately be reached.

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