Roman Polanski Files New Appeal, More Misconduct Allegations
Lawyers for Roman Polanski filed a new appeal in the California Appeals Court today. It cites previously undisclosed sealed transcripts of improper communications between the Judge and prosecutors.
The 68-page petition asks the California Court of Appeals for the Second District, in Los Angeles, to act on an emergency basis. It argues, among other things, that the court should free Mr. Polanski by imposing a sentence for time served, or at least make the sealed testimony alleging wrongdoing available to Swiss authorities.
The newly disclosed dealings involved Judge Rittenband and both Stephen S. Trott, who was the chief deputy of the Los Angeles district attorney’s office, and Michael J. Montagna, a supervising deputy, according to testimony described in the petition.
One or both of the prosecutors met in the summer of 1977 with Judge Rittenband, who is now deceased, after Mr. Gunson told them he intended to file an application to disqualify the judge because of misconduct, according to the petition’s account. The pair later told Mr. Gunson that the judge had “admitted all of the alleged misconduct,” according to the petition, but they denied Mr. Gunson permission to file the disqualification motion.
Trott is now a federal judge:
Stephen Trott, who is now a senior judge with the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth District, declined to comment. “I’m staying out of that completely,” he said.
The Swiss have not acted on the extradition request -- they want California to determine how much time Polanski has left to serve if he is returned.
Lawyers for Mr. Polanski have argued that he should not be extradited, because Judge Rittenband had promised — as Mr. Gunson affirmed in his sealed testimony — to sentence him to no more than 90 days in jail, and an extradition treaty between the United States and Switzerland applies only to long sentences.
More on that here.
This is such a waste of California's judicial and prosecutorial resources. Dismiss the case already. Free Roman.
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