Roman Polanski Breaks Silence, Issues Statement
Roman Polanski has broken his silence and issued a statement concerning his extradition. It's published in French in a magazine called La Regle du Jeu. The English translation is here. I've uploaded it here.
A hearing will be held Monday on whether to unseal the sworn statement of the former DA on the case, Roger Gunson, now retired. [More...]
The Los Angeles court has scheduled a hearing for next Monday on an effort by Mr. Polanski to unseal recent testimony in which, Mr. Polanski’s lawyers say, the prosecutor who handled his case, Roger Gunson, describes Judge Rittenband’s misconduct and intended limits on the sentence.
As to why Roman is breaking his silence now, he says:
I can remain silent no longer because there has just been a new development of immense significance. On February 26 last, Roger Gunson, the deputy district attorney in charge of the case in 1977, now retired, testified under oath before Judge Mary Lou Villar in the presence of David Walgren, the present deputy district attorney in charge of the case, who was at liberty to contradict and question him, that on September 16, 1977, Judge Rittenband stated to all the parties concerned that my term of imprisonment in Chino constituted the totality of the sentence I would have to serve.
I can remain silent no longer because the request for my extradition addressed to the Swiss authorities is founded on a lie. In the same statement, retired deputy district attorney Roger Gunson added that it was false to claim, as the present district attorney’s office does in their request for my extradition, that the time I spent in Chino was for the purpose of a diagnostic study.
The said request asserts that I fled in order to escape sentencing by the U.S. judicial authorities, but under the plea-bargaining process I had acknowledged the facts and returned to the United States in order to serve my sentence. All that remained was for the court to confirm this agreement, but the judge decided to repudiate it in order to gain himself some publicity at my expense.
I can remain silent no longer because for over 30 years my lawyers have never ceased to insist that I was betrayed by the judge, that the judge perjured himself, and that I served my sentence. Today it is the deputy district attorney who handled the case in the 1970s, a man of irreproachable reputation, who has confirmed all my statements under oath, and this has shed a whole new light on the matter.
The court should unseal Roger Gunson's testimony. The Swiss say they don't need it to resolve the issue of whether the extradition request is allowed under the treaty with the U.S. as they presume prosecutors seeking extradition requests are telling the truth. But the people of California have a right to know whether LA's current District Attorney, Steve Cooley, who is running for state Attorney General, made false statements in the extradition request. Gunson's testimony reportedly contradicts Cooley. If Cooley made false representations, California voters have a right to know this.
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