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

Fri Oct 30, 2015 3:19pm EDT
 
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By Wojciech Zurawski

KRAKOW, Poland (Reuters) - Oscar-winning film-maker Roman Polanski said on Friday he was grateful and relieved after a Polish court rejected a U.S. request for his extradition over a 1977 child sex conviction.

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.

A judge in a Polish court in the southern city of Krakow ruled against the extradition, saying the U.S. judiciary had violated Polanski's rights in the past and that he would be subject to infringements if handed over now.

"The extradition is inadmissible", judge Dariusz Mazur said.

"The case is over, at least in Poland, I hope. I can sigh with relief. 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.

"It's simple. I pleaded guilty, I went to prison. I served my punishment. It's over," he said.

Polanski pleaded guilty in 1977 to having sex with a 13-year-old girl during a photo shoot in Los Angeles. He served 42 days in jail after a plea bargain but later fled the United States fearing a lengthy jail time if the deal was overruled.

In 2009, he was arrested in Zurich on a U.S. warrant and placed under house arrest. He was freed in 2010 after Swiss authorities decided not to extradite him.   Continued...

 
Filmmaker Roman Polanski (L) listens to his lawyer during a court sitting in Krakow, south Poland September 22, 2015. REUTERS/Lukasz Krajewski/Agencja Gazeta/Files