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Tag: Roman Polanski (page 2)

New Revelation in Polanksi Sentencing in Absentia Pleading

Lawyers for the victim in Roman Polanski's 1977 case released a pleading it will file tomorrow in support of Polanski's request to be sentenced in absentia and to be sentenced to time served.

The victim's lawyer, Lawrence Silver, in joining Polanski's request, includes this new information:

In a new revelation, Silver wrote in his legal filing that he witnessed [Judge]Rittenband say in his chambers that no other incarceration would be imposed, only to then renege on his promise and threaten to send Polanski to an indeterminate prison sentence. Polanski fled the country soon after.

Polanski's lawyers have also filed a brief saying the prosecutors misled the Swiss in seeking his extradition warrant.

The hearing will be held Friday. Background is here.

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DA Objects To Roman Polanski's Request for Sentencing in Absentia

In affirming the denial of Roman Polanski's motion to dismiss the criminal charges against him last month, the California Appeals Court noted that Section 1173 of the California Penal Code allows for felony sentencing in absentia. The pertinent part of the statute reads (via Lexis.com):

If the conviction is for a felony, the defendant shall be personally present when judgment is pronounced against him or her, unless the defendant, in open court and on the record, or in a notarized writing, requests that judgment be pronounced against him or her in his or her absence, and that he or she be represented by an attorney when judgment is pronounced, and the court approves his or her absence during the pronouncement of judgment...

The Court said "Based on the oral arguments of counsel, this court would not expect any objection to be made if Polanski should request to be sentenced in absentia."

Polanski then moved to be sentenced in absentia. Today, the L.A. prosecutor objected. A hearing is set for next week. I haven't found a copy of the prosecutor's response, but I also haven't seen any California cases that uphold the denial of a defendant's request because of an objection from the prosecutor. While the decision is up to the judge, I think the prosecutor is on shaky ground. Here's why: [More...]

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Roman Polanski Asks to Be Sentenced in Absentia

Taking the California Court of Appeals suggestion, Director Roman Polanski has filed a formal request with the court in Los Angeles to be sentenced in absentia on his 1977 guilty plea to to unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor. The Court of Appeals decision (distilled here) said:

Without returning to the United States or dropping his battle against extradition, Polanski may, through counsel, request that the trial court
conduct the never-yet-held sentencing hearing in absentia pursuant to section 1193. If the trial court approves this request, then Polanski, through his counsel, will be able to obtain the evidentiary hearing that is so urgently required to establish the facts of what occurred in 1977 and 1978. The trial judge now presiding over the matter, Judge Espinoza, has already indicated
that at a sentencing hearing Polanski would be able to fully litigate the allegations of misconduct and a prior pledge by Judge Rittenband as to Polanski’s punishment.

Smart move, in my view. [More...]

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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.

[More...]

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Roman Polanski Ready for Release, No Appeal of Bail Decision

Preparations are underway for Roman Polanski to be released from jail on bail and home detention at his chalet in Switzerland. The Swiss Justice Ministry announced today they will not appeal the decision.

Polanski will be released from custody as soon as bail has been transferred, ID and travel documents have been lodged, and the electronic monitoring system has been installed and tested.

He served 60 days in jail following his extradition arrest, and the appeals court in LA still has his motion to dismiss under consideration. The victim has asked the appeals court to dismiss the case.

Oral argument in the California appeal is set for December 10.

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Roman Polanski Granted Bail

Director Roman Polanski has been granted bail in Switzerland.

German radio reported this morning (hat tip to reader Scribe for the translation:)

The film director Roman Polanski, incarcerated because of sexual misconduct, will be released from jail on bail. The Swiss federal court in Lausanne imposed a bail of about 3 million Euros. Polanski must turn over all passports and will be placed under house arrest. Additionally, the court may require him to wear an electronic ankle bracelet. The Swiss police had arrested the director at the end of September on an arrest warrant out of the USA. Polanski is alleged to have abused a 13 y/o girl in 1977 after giving her alcohol and drugs.

Polanski will remain in jail while the Swiss Justice Ministry decides whether to appeal. They have 10 days to make the decision.

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Oral Argument Set In Roman Polanski CA Appeal

The appeal of the decision refusing to hear Roman Polanski's motion to dismiss the 1977 criminal charges and case has been set for Dec. 10 by a California appeals court. The motion was based on the revelations of the documentary, Wanted and Desired, which included interviews with a former prosecutor and the judge, which Polanski argued demonstrate proseuctiorial and judicial misconduct.

Earlier this year, the trial court refused to hear the motion because Polanski was not present in court. The appeal is asking the trial court be required to rule on the motion despite Polanski's non-appearance.

In related news, Polanski's lawyers in Switzerland have upped their bail offer to include a large cash deposit. Will that do the trick?

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Switz. Receives Formal Extradition Papers From U.S.

Switzerland announced last night on its website that it has received formal extradition papers from the U.S., seeking the return of Director Roman Polanski.

The US extradition request is based on a warrant issued by the Superior Court of the State of California for the County of Los Angeles on 1 February 1978, on which date Polanski had failed to appear before the judge as was required by his bail conditions. During the US criminal investigation, Polanski had admitted to having unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor. He is wanted by the US authorities with a view to passing sentence for this offence.

There will be a hearing at which Polanski's lawyers can submit argument. [More...]

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AP Gets Emails: Swiss Ratted Out Polanski

So it was the Swiss authorities after all who alerted the U.S. that Roman Polanski would be in Switzerland to accept the film award. The Associated Press obtained the fax and emails between the Swiss Federal Office of Justice sand the U.S. Office of International Affairs, which is part of the U.S. Department of Justice.

Swiss officials wanted to know if the U.S. would be submitting a request for Polanski's arrest....After receiving the tip, federal officials alerted the Los Angeles district attorney's office, which immediately began drafting an arrest warrant.

I've read in a few places that the Swiss Government was involved in the Film Festival which extended the award invitation to Polanski. For example, the Swiss Ministry sponsored an "Industry Day" for the festival.

The Zurich Film Festival's first Industry Day will take place at the Seefeld Razzia on Tuesday, September 29. Sponsored by the Swiss Federal Office of Culture and Swiss Films, this event is aimed at all professionals involved in the filmmaking industry including producers, directors, authors and actors.

If so, I've been wondering if the Swiss action could be considered a "lure" which would violate DOJ policy, according to the U.S. Attorney's Manual.[More...]

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Roman Polanski Loses First Bail Appeal

A Swiss appeals court has denied Roman Polanki's request for bail.

Polanski has 10 days to appeal the decision on his release to Switzerland's highest tribunal. He also can continue attempts to persuade the Swiss Justice Ministry to release him. More court proceedings are expected after Washington files its formal extradition request, which it has until Nov. 25 to submit.

Polanski's attorney said Tuesday's decision was a disappointment. "It's probable that Mr. Polanski will appeal," Herve Temime told reporters in Paris. "I repeat that Mr. Polanski has firmly and strongly stated that he will remain in Switzerland during the entire extradition procedure, regardless of its outcome."

[More...]

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Roman Polanski Loses First Bid for Release

Roman Polanski has lost his first bid for bail in Switzerland. Swiss Justice Ministry spokesman Folbco Galli said Polanski was too great a flight risk.

Polanski is also seeking release from Switzerland's highest criminal court.

Regardless of the court decision, Polanski will likely have to remain in prison for months as his case in the Swiss courts progresses. The Federal Criminal Court has said it will rule in the case in the "next weeks," and a verdict in either direction can be appealed to the country's highest judicial body, the Federal Tribunal.

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Why Polanski's Arrest Doesn't Sit Well With Lawyers

French lawyer Ronald Sokol explains in an op-ed in the New York Times today why the Roman Polaski arrest doesn't sit will with him. It's a law-based article. the highlights:

Despite the certainty of guilt and the crime’s gravity, the prosecutor’s belated pursuit is both legally and morally troubling. A prosecuting attorney in Los Angeles has sought his extradition from Switzerland based on a treaty between Switzerland and the United States.

An extradition treaty is simply a written agreement between two countries whereby each agrees to surrender to the other country persons sought for specified crimes. The crimes include most felonies. It is normal practice for a nation not to extradite one of its own citizens. For this reason France would not agree to extradite Mr. Polanski, if it had been asked to do so, because he is a French citizen, but as he does not have Swiss citizenship and was arrested in Zurich, this exception does not apply.

[More...]

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Pants On Fire

Marina Zenovich, the director of last year’s documentary, "Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired" has issued a statement regarding former LA Deputy DA David Wells' recantation of his statements regarding his contacts with the judge in the Roman Polanski case:

“I am perplexed by the timing of David Wells’ statement to the press that he lied in his interview with me…. Since June of 2008, the film has been quite visible on U.S. television via HBO, in theaters and on DVD, so it is odd that David Wells has not brought this issue to my attention before.”

[More....]

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Whose Nose is Longer Than a Telephone Wire?

Update: Polanski's defense strategy could work to keep him out of prison due to the allegations of judicial miscounduct.

Former LA Deputy DA David Wells then (paraphrased from the documentary, "Wanted and Desired"): I wanted Roman Polanski to go to jail. So I told the judge how he could sentence him to prison while avoiding the possibility of Polanski appealing. He did it. Months later, I showed the judge a photo of Polanski in Europe and told him Polanski was "flipping him off." The judge took it personally, as I intended, and decided to sentence Polanski even more harshly at the final sentencing.

Shorter version, David Wells now: I lied in the documentary. I never told the judge anything. He did what he did all on his own. I had nothing to do with it.

[More...]

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The Fleecing of Roman Polanski

I finished watching "Wanted and Desired" last night, with my good friend Anita Thompson, who is down from Owl Farm and staying with me a few nights a week for the next month or so as she takes the LSAT prep course in Denver. She was a toddler in 1977 when Polanski was arrested and hadn't followed the case.

Now, having watched the film, and listened to ex-prosecutor David Wells tell in his own words how he manipulated and advised the Judge behind closed doors how to get around a plea bargain in a manner that would prevent Polanski from appealing, heard the Judge state in his own words how he intended to impose an illegal condition on Polanski, watched as both the DA on the case and Polanski's lawyer separately tell, in their own words, the same story about the judge's misconduct, from making express promises he later renegged on to forcing them to participate in a sham hearing while demanding they not tell the media, listened to the victim and her lawyer describe, in their own words, how events transpired and how the Judge disregarded what was in her best interests, Anita too is appalled at how Roman Polanski was treated. [More...]

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