Sunday, September 27, 2009


Film director Roman Polanski has been taken into custody on a 31-year-old US arrest warrant, Swiss police say.
Mr Polanski, 76, was detained on Saturday as he travelled from France to collect a lifetime achievement award at the Zurich Film Festival.
The Swiss justice ministry said he was being held ahead of a possible extradition to the US for having sex with a 13-year-old girl in 1977.
Mr Polanski fled the US in 1978 after pleading guilty to the charges.
In recent years, he has tried to have the rape case dismissed, but a US judge formally rejected his requests in May.
Mr Polanski was initially indicted on six counts and faced up to life in prison.
He claims the original judge, who is now dead, arranged a plea bargain but later reneged.

1977 - Polanski admits unlawful sex with Samantha Geimer, 13, in Los Angeles
1978 - flees to Britain after US arrest warrant is issued
1978 - immediately moves to France where he holds citizenship
1978 - settles in France, where he is protected by France's limited extradition with US
2008 - Polanski's lawyer demands case be dismissed and hearing moved out of LA court
2009 - Polanski's request to have hearing outside LA is denied

Earlier this year, Judge Peter Espinoza agreed there was misconduct by the judge in the original case, but said Mr Polanski must return to the US to apply for dismissal.
Mr Polanski's lawyers said he would not return to the US because he would be immediately arrested as a fugitive.
The victim at the centre of the case, Samantha Geimer, has previously asked for the charges to be dropped, saying the continued publication of details "causes harm to me, my husband and children".
She has also called the court's insistence that Mr Polanski appear in person "a cruel joke".
The Swiss justice ministry said on Sunday that Mr Polanski was being held under a 2005 international alert issued by the US government related to a 1978 arrest warrant.
He will not be sent to the US until extradition proceedings were complete, the ministry added.
He can contest his detention and any extradition decision in the Swiss courts.

The Paris-born Polish filmmaker - who is also a French citizen - has not set foot in the US for more than 30 years. He has even avoided making films in the UK for fear of extradition.
His Oscar for directing the 2002 The Pianist was collected by Harrison Ford, who had previously starred in his 1988 thriller, Frantic.
France's culture minister said he was "dumbfounded" by Mr Polanski's detention in Switzerland.
Frederic Mitterrand said he "strongly regrets that a new ordeal is being inflicted on someone who has already experienced so many of them".
He added that French President Nicolas Sarkozy was "following the case with great attention and shares the minister's hope that the situation can be quickly resolved".
The organisers of the Zurich Film Festival said Polanski's detention had caused "shock and dismay," but that they would go ahead with a planned retrospective of the director's work.
A special ceremony is planned for Sunday night "to allow everyone to express their solidarity for Roman Polanski and their admiration for his work," festival managers said in a statement.



Anonymous Jay from Vancouver said...

I'm just wondering if he forgot about the whole thing or if somebody set him up? When you keep hiding for 31 years, will you stop being warily all of a sudden?

10:28 pm  
Anonymous cb on bonanzle said...

Manson follower Susan Atkins who had killed Roman Polanski's wife, Sharon Tate died a couple of days ago and now this announced arrest of Roman Polanski.

What I can't understand is, how did Polanski manage to evade the law all these years with the so called technology of cameras and GPS, etc. There is just NO way that one can hide from the law with all of technology that is out there.

Something is just screwy here. I think the authorities DID know where he was hiding all these years. And one has to question as to why did they decide to arrest him NOW and not arrest him from years ago? Not to mention that this is going to cost taxpayers money for a trial that will drag on for years.

This is another example of how there is no such thing as "justice" in the justice system in the USA. Criminals go free while the innocent and victims get sent to prison.

11:37 am  

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