CA Appeals Court Hears Polanski Appeal
An appeals court in California today heard oral arguments in Roman Polanski's case. At issue was Polanski's request to dismiss the charges due to judicial and prosecutorial misconduct. A trial judge last year refused to hear the case because he was a fugitive. The grounds for the dismissal request were the new revelations in the film, Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired".
Associate Justice Laurie Zelon asked the prosecutor why the district attorney's office had not investigated recent allegations of misconduct by a judge and prosecutor during Polanski's 1977 court proceedings.
"Doesn't the district attorney's office have an interest in finding out what happened here?" Zelon asked.
Deputy District Attorney Phyllis Asayama replied, "Yes, we are interested. But I'm not sure we have the proper agency to do this." She didn't elaborate.
Presiding Justice Dennis Perluss, acknowledging there was misconduct by the now deceased judge, also questioned Asayama about whether "the district attorney has an obligation to see that justice is served."
The victim's lawyer also argued for dismissal today.
Attorney Lawrence Silver, who represents Polanski's victim Samantha Geimer argued for dismissal on grounds of a recently adopted law allowing victims to have a say in cases. Geimer has repeatedly said she wants the case dismissed, and Silver reiterated that to the justices.
The appeals court could order the trial judge to hold the hearing in Polanski's absence. That judge, while refusing to rule on Polanski's request, found there was substantial misconduct.
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