Tag: Roman Polanski

Poland's Supreme Court Rejects Roman Polanski Extradition Request

Poland's Supreme Court has definitively rejected the U.S. request for extradition of Director Roman Polanski, now 83, for a crime that occurred in 1977.

Poland joins France and Switzerland as countries where Polanski can live and work, free from the shadow of extradition. France has no extradition treaty with the US and Switzerland has already rebuffed US attempts to have him extradited.

A lower court in Poland ruled in 2015 that "the time Polanski had spent in jail, under house arrest or in custody exceeded his original sentence, and that he may not get a fair trial in the US." [More...]

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Roman Polanski: Poland Rejects U.S. Extradition Request

At least some good news today: Poland has rejected the U.S. request to extradite 82 year old director Roman Polanski for a crime committed almost 40 years ago.

At a hearing in Krakow, Judge Dariusz Mazur ruled that turning over Mr. Polanski would be an “obviously unlawful” deprivation of liberty and that California would be unlikely to provide humane living conditions for the filmmaker, who is 82.

He was also critical of the U.S. judge and prosecutors in the case, saying if he behaved like they did, he'd lose all respect. [More...]

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Roman Polanski Files Motion to Close L.A. Case

Roman Polanski, now represented by Alan Dershowitz, among others, has filed a motion to close his Los Angeles case once and for all.

The request by Mr. Dershowitz to represent Mr. Polanski opened what promises to be a broad legal and public-relations effort to lift the threat of extradition and jail time from Mr. Polanski, now 81. He was first charged with raping a 13-year-old girl, who has since identified herself as Samantha Geimer, in 1977.

The LA Times has more on the 133 motion here.

The new motion alleges bias by the judge who presided over the 2008 court proceedings. It also alleges recent unethical conduct by prosecutors. [More....]

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Standing Ovation for Roman Polanski in Zurich

Roman Polanski has finally picked up his Lifetime Achievement Award at the Zurich Film Festival, two years after his ill-fated trip when he was arrested on a U.S. extradition warrant. He got a standing ovation. He quipped, ""Better late than never."

He has a new film, Carnage, that is being touted as his best film since The Pianist. And in a documentary filmed during his house arrest, he apologized to the woman (then age 13) in the infamous Los Angeles case:

"She is a double victim: my victim and a victim of the press," the Oscar-winning director says near the end of Laurent Bouzereau's Roman Polanski: A Film Memoir.

He also thanked the Swiss prison guards who watched over him during his house arrest.

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Roman Polanski Wins European Best Picture Award

Roman Polanksi's "The Ghostwriter" has won the award for Best Picture and Best Director at the European Film Awards, held in Estonia. It won in six of its seven nominated categories.

Nominated in seven categories, the movie won the best director prize, best actor for Ewan McGregor, and best screenwriter went jointly to Robert Harris and Polanski.

Polanski gave an acceptance speech -- "through a Skype connection from an unknown location." Why?

[H]e still faces an Interpol warrant in 188 countries. Most European nations, including Estonia, have an extradition treaty with the United States.


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Fingerpointing in Polanski Case Between DOJ and LA Prosecutors

The Swiss asked for the sealed transcripts of former district attorney in the Roman Polanski case. DOJ says it consulted with the LA District Attorney's office and denied the request. It was the denial that prevented the Swiss from getting to the heart of the issue: did the judge intend for Polanski only to serve 42 days? If so, then extradition isn't allowed under the treaty. The Swiss Statement denying extradition said:

The Swiss government said it had sought confidential testimony given Jan. 26 by Roger Gunson, the Los Angeles attorney in charge of the original prosecution against Polanski. The United States rejected the request.

The LA District Attorney's office told the judge in May the Swiss never made the request. Now they say they were never notified by DOJ that one had been made.

District attorney's spokeswoman Sandi Gibbons said Wednesday that Los Angeles prosecutors were never notified of the request. But the Justice Department said Thursday the Los Angeles District Attorney's office was fully informed and approved the denial.


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LA Judge Deals Another Blow to Roman Polanski

At a hearing in Los Angeles yesterday, Superior Court Judge Peter Espinoza denied Roman Polanski's motion to unseal the testimony of the original case prosecutor so it could be reviewed by the Swiss in deciding whether prosecutors made false allegations in the extradition request.

Polanski's attorneys argue that the issue is important, in part, because the United States' extradition treaty with Switzerland allows the extradition of a defendant only if the remaining time still to be served is more than six months. They note that an affidavit by L.A. County Deputy Dist. Atty. David Walgren that was given to Swiss authorities does not say Polanski's diagnostic testing was meant to serve as his full prison term.

"This affidavit does not provide the facts, and Mr. Gunson's testimony proves that," attorney Chad S. Hummel said in court Monday.

LA prosecutors argued the extradition request was accurate, citing the fact that it was reviewed by the Department of Justice. When did federal prosecutors become judges? Their view is one that can be taken into account, but it should be the Judge's call.

Prosecutors say Polanski faces up to two years when sentenced. They are arguing about the difference between 48 days (the maximum number of days between the 42 Polanski served and the 90 the judge said he intended to impose) and two years, in a case over 30 years old where the defendant is 76 years old and has been exiled from the U.S. for decades and forced to live under house arrest in Switzerland for months. Give it up already. What are these proceedings, which the victim opposes, costing cash-strapped California? Enough is enough. Free Roman.

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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...]

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Appeals Court Rejects Roman Polanski's Bid Over New Evidence of Judicial Misconduct

California's Second Appellate District has denied Roman Polanski's petition for writ of mandate. He filed the petition in March, seeking a sentence of time served in his 1977 sex case, based on new evidence of judicial and prosecutorial misconduct contained in previously undisclosed sealed transcripts of improper communications between the Judge and prosecutors. He also sought to have the new transcripts disclosed to the Swiss.

Also today, the court rejected a bid by the victim to dismiss the case.

The order in Polanski's case reads: (obtained from Court docket): [More...]

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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...]

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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.


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Phil Spector Appeals Murder Conviction

Phil Spector's lawyers have filed their opening brief in the appeal of his murder conviction.

[T]hey focused on a judge's decision to allow testimony from five women who claimed Spector menaced them with firearms in the decades leading up to Lana Clarkson's shooting.

Those accounts, which portrayed Spector as a violent misogynist, became "the heart of the state's case, the sine qua non of its efforts to gain a conviction" and amounted to impermissible character testimony, the lawyers wrote.

For one thing, while the judge instructed the jury the testimony could not be taken as propensity to commit a crime, [More...]

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