KRAKOW, Poland (Reuters) - Polish prosecutors have sent a request to a regional court in Krakow for the extradition of filmmaker Roman Polanski to the United States over a 1977 child sex-crime conviction, the Prosecutors’ Office in Krakow said on Tuesday.
“The further actions in this case will depend on the court,” the prosecutors’ office said in a statement.
According to Polish law, if the court decides that the U.S. request should proceed further, the justice minister will then make the decision on whether to extradite Polanski.
The Oscar-winning filmmaker pleaded guilty in 1977 to having unlawful sex with 13-year-old Samantha Geimer during a photoshoot in Los Angeles fueled by champagne and drugs.
Polanski served 42 days in jail as part of a 90-day plea bargain. He fled the United States the following year, believing the judge hearing his case could overrule the deal and put him in jail for years.
In 2009, Polanski was arrested in the Swiss city of Zurich on the U.S. warrant and placed under house arrest. He was freed in 2010 after Swiss authorities decided not to extradite him to the United States.
Now 81, he is viewed by many Poles as one of their greatest living cultural figures. Internationally renowned for such films as “Chinatown” and “The Pianist”, Polanski is now in Poland to make a film about the Dreyfus affair, a political scandal that shook France more than a century ago.
Writing by Wiktor Szary; Editing by Angus MacSwan