A Polish court dismissed a request from the United States for the extradition of famed film director Roman Polanski. In a Krakow court room, Judge Dariusz Mazur ruled the request “inadmissible,” despite charges that Polanski had had sex with a 13-year-old girl in the U.S. in the 1970s. The Oscar-winning director admitted to the unlawful sex, but fled the United States before sentencing in 1978. He was 44 years old at the time. He was once married to film actress Sharon Tate – one of the victims of the slaughter unleashed by crazed Charles Manson.
Polanski is now 82 years old, and has both French and Polish citizenship. Currently working on a film in Poland, he resides in France. France does not allow extradition of its own citizens.
Swiss authorities likewise refused a U.S. extradition warrant in 2010, even though he had been placed under house arrest there for nine months.
Polanski’s attorneys in Poland argued against his extradition, citing legal flaws in the U.S. extradition process and that he spent 42 days in an American prison after the incident involving the 13-year-old girl.
Polanski is a native of Poland who survived the Second World War in a Krakow ghetto. His mother, however, died at the Auschwitz death camp.
Polanski may still face legal proceedings, however. Voters in Poland elected a conservative government over the October 24-25 weekend. Officials from the Law and Justice party have called on Polanski to be returned to the U.S. If a Polish court were to rule in favor of extradition, the final decision would rest with the justice secretary of Poland.
In 1977, Polanski was arrested and faced charges on several offenses involving sex with an underage female. The charges were dropped after he plead guilty to unlawful sexual intercourse as part of a plea bargain. Then, in 1978, facing a lengthy jail term, Polanski fled to the UK and thence to France.
Later, the US rejected Polanski's request in 2009 for the case to be dismissed. When he visited Switzerland that year, he was jailed and then put under house arrest following a US extradition request. By the next year, Switzerland opted to against the extradition, freeing him. Acting on a 2014 request from the US, Polish prosecutors questioned Polanski. He agreed then to cooperate with the Polish justice while it investigates the issue. In recent years, Polanski was accused by a woman of having had sexual relations with her when she was 16 years old.
Polanski is known for such films as “Chinatown”, “Rosemary’s Baby”, “Tess” and “Frantic”.
Among celebrities who have come to Polanski's defense are Woody Allen, Whoopi Goldberg, Costa-Gavras, Terry Gilliam, and Pedro Almodovar.
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