Swiss Put Polanski Extradition on Hold Pending CA Ruling

The spokesman for the Swiss Ministry today told the Associated Press that Switzerland will not act on the extradition request for Roman Polanski until a California appeals court rules on his appeal of the trial court's denial of his motion to be sentenced in absentia.

"The Justice Ministry will decide on the extradition only after the California Court of Appeal has decided whether to hold proceedings in absentia," Galli said. "This action allows the extradition process to adapt to the US proceedings."

The prosecution filed its brief yesterday urging Polanski's return. I haven't found a copy of either Polanski or the state's latest briefs anywhere, so I can't say which is stronger. But I continue to believe Polanski is getting a very raw deal here and the case should be dismissed due to the improper conduct of the judge. The newly discovered notes of DA Gunson confirm the Judge promised no more than 90 days, and the extradition treaty doesn't apply to such short sentences. [More...]

As I wrote here, in discussing the treaty,

The way I see it, or at least the argument I'd make, is that since the sentence had partially been served, the legal question to be decided by the Swiss is not what could he have been sentenced to, but how much time remained to be served. Since everyone, including the current Judge, agrees the original Judge intended to and promised to impose no more than 90 days, and Roman served 42 of them, there is less than four or six months remaining on his sentence and the request doesn't comply with the U.S.- Swiss treaty or Swiss law.

This is such a waste of California's judicial and prosecutorial resources. Dismiss the case already. Free Roman.

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    Time To Drop It (5.00 / 1) (#1)
    by squeaky on Wed Mar 31, 2010 at 07:51:31 PM EST
    Polanski has already served more time than he was supposed to. It certainly is a wast of time, resources and money to continue with this nonsense and puffery.

    Change of plea transcript sentence was (5.00 / 1) (#8)
    by oculus on Wed Mar 31, 2010 at 11:44:36 PM EST
    left to the discretion of the judge w/i the statutory framework.

    I have to agree (none / 0) (#2)
    by Inspector Gadget on Wed Mar 31, 2010 at 08:06:17 PM EST
    There are much bigger things for CA courts to spend their time on. It was decades ago and his "victim" has moved on. He's been out of the country now for decades, as well...seems like he shouldn't be our problem anymore.

    The victim got the raw deal (none / 0) (#3)
    by diogenes on Wed Mar 31, 2010 at 08:10:46 PM EST
    "...continue to believe Polanski is getting a very raw deal..."
    Actually, the combination of the sexist 1970's and the influence of the rich and powerful is what gave him an unfair deal of 90 days for what Wikipedia summarizes as:
    "In March 1977, Roman Polanski was arrested and charged with a number of offenses against Samantha Geimer, a thirteen-year-old girl.[1]
    Geimer testified that Polanski gave her a combination of champagne and quaaludes, a sedative drug and muscle relaxant, and despite repeated protests and being asked to stop, he performed oral sex, intercourse and sodomy upon her.[2][3][4][5] A grand jury charged him with rape by use of drugs, perversion, sodomy, lewd and lascivious act upon a child under fourteen, and furnishing a controlled substance to a minor.[6] At his arraignment Polanski pleaded not guilty to all charges.[7] In an effort to preserve her anonymity, Geimer's attorney arranged a plea bargain."

    Yes, it was awful (none / 0) (#4)
    by Inspector Gadget on Wed Mar 31, 2010 at 08:21:48 PM EST
    In his case, a greater punishment might be to ban his ability to make money here and not allow his films to be released to theaters or sold via DVD in the country.

    What? (none / 0) (#5)
    by squeaky on Wed Mar 31, 2010 at 08:26:07 PM EST
    a greater punishment might be to ban his ability to make money here and not allow his films to be released to theaters or sold via DVD in the country.

    You must be joking. Do you think that anyone who commits a crime in the US should be punished in this absurd way, for their entire life?

    Sorry I must have missed the irony alert.


    :) It's a little late to punish him at all, IMHO (none / 0) (#7)
    by Inspector Gadget on Wed Mar 31, 2010 at 08:37:28 PM EST

    AS much as I dislike Roman (none / 0) (#6)
    by nyjets on Wed Mar 31, 2010 at 08:32:43 PM EST
    As much as I dislike Roman and think he should of spent most of his life in  prison for what he did, your points are why I dislike the judge more.
    If the judge had done what he was suppose to do, Roman would be a felon and remembered as such. The matter would be over and Roman would have only a fraction of the supporters he currently has.
    This case is a text book example as to why judges, prosecutors and police should NOT bend the laws to convict someone. In addition to the fact that it is not right and  you can easily convict an innocent man: you get this mess.

    If Mr. Polanski had done what he was (5.00 / 1) (#9)
    by oculus on Wed Mar 31, 2010 at 11:45:52 PM EST
    supposed to do, he would have showed up for the sentencing hearing.

    Sure, But (none / 0) (#10)
    by squeaky on Thu Apr 01, 2010 at 01:14:56 AM EST
    Were the judge doing what he was supposed to do, Polanski would have kept up his part of the bargain.

    Seems like a no brainer situation to flee under those circumstances.

    Let's put it this way, if you were in Mexico, say, and were accused of a crime, and took the plea bargain, then the rules changed. All of a sudden instead of 90 days you were looking at twenty years...

    Yeah, call my lawyers, meanwhile you are sitting in jail for up to a year pending trial...


    Except the change of plea confirms (none / 0) (#11)
    by oculus on Thu Apr 01, 2010 at 09:49:41 AM EST
    the sentence imposed was up to the judge.  And an additional, what, 42 days at Chino is not 20 yrs.

    42 Days? (none / 0) (#12)
    by squeaky on Thu Apr 01, 2010 at 02:00:02 PM EST
    In your dreams. In the initial round of Polanski's plea, the judge explicitly said that this could be a twenty year sentence.

    Once the Judge clearly showed bad faith, no one in their right mind would believe that after an additional 42 days the sentence would be served.

    The problem had zero to do with the fact that he was sent for up to 90 days and was release after 40 something days, soley because the experts at Chino (shrinks, parole officer et al.), saw Polanski as done and no threat to society, the problem was that the Judge was told that Polanski was flipping him the bird and deserved to fry.


    I agree with the judge. The (none / 0) (#13)
    by oculus on Thu Apr 01, 2010 at 02:23:48 PM EST
    Chino study was a whitewash.  So was the probation report. Nevertheless, it appears the initial sentencing judge threatened to send Mr. Polanski back to Chino to comploete the 90-day statutory evaluation period.  

    Give It A Rest (none / 0) (#14)
    by squeaky on Thu Apr 01, 2010 at 03:10:04 PM EST
    You are making believe that nothing happened between the Chino stint and the sentencing hearing. I find that frustratingly dishonest of you.

    You must have insider info then. (none / 0) (#15)
    by oculus on Thu Apr 01, 2010 at 03:23:09 PM EST
    No (none / 0) (#16)
    by squeaky on Thu Apr 01, 2010 at 03:41:56 PM EST
    Just the same information that Planks was lucky enough to get before his sentencing hearing:

    That the judge had been illegally  influenced to change his mind about Polanski's punishment, plea and crime,  because he was told that Polanski was "flipping him off" iow publicly out to humiliate and make a laughing stock of the judge. Clearly the Judge was in vengeance mode, and the twenty year sentence that was noted in the plea agreement appeared to be what the judge had in mind.

    But, nooooo, somehow you are insisting that the Judge was a honest broker and all he wanted was for Polanski to serve an additional 42 days.

    Therefore, in your mind, Polansk fled because he couldn't bear being locked up for 42 additional days, ergo Polanski is a moron.

    Clearly Polanski is not a moron, and knowingly gave up quite a bit, but not for 42 days. He gave up quite a bit because he was fairly certain that the Judge wanted to put Polanski away for a long time, for what? for the imagined crime of being "flipped off".


    judge got common sense (none / 0) (#17)
    by diogenes on Thu Apr 01, 2010 at 11:04:23 PM EST
    The judge more likely was pressured by the rich and powerful against his better judgment to be lenient and when he saw that mockery and being flipped off was the thanks he would get he decided that he would give a proper sentence instead.