Polanski: Polish court rejects USA extradition request in case

Friday, a Polish court ruled that the law forbids Roman Polanski’s, 82 anni, extradition to the U.S., with district court judge Dariusz Maxur in Krakow saying, “extradition is inadmissible”. “I hope everything will be all right”.

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“I can breathe now with relief”, he added, speaking at a press conference in Krakow.

“It’s simple. I pleaded guilty, I went to prison”.

A court in Poland has ruled out the extradition of Roman Polanski, who plead guilty in 1977 to the rape of a 13-year-old girl.

The initial felony counts were reduced to unlawful sexual intercourse charges as part of a guilty plea bargain that saw Polanski serve 42 days in detention while undergoing psychiatric evaluation.

Visiting Switzerland later that year, he is jailed, then placed under house arrest following a United States extradition request. It says his case can not be resolved until he returns to California to face justice. The USA then asked Poland to extradite the director, who was born in the country but also has French citizenship, when he made an appearance at the opening of the Jewish Museum in Warsaw.

Postponement of the final ruling may lead toward an extradition, as the new Law and Justice party government to be installed this month makes a point of applying law strictly and equally to all.

Polanski, who has testified in person in the hearings, has said he doubts the extradition application will be granted but he will comply with the legal proceedings.

In 2009, after a documentary about the trial was released, Polanski reportedly wrote to Geimer to apologize. The U.S. State Department had no immediate comment.

“The determination of the American justice system is surprising and hard to understand in a situation when the victim [Samantha Geimer] has been seeking the case’s dismissal for many years; she forgave and reconciled with him [Polanski] and the punishment agreed on has been more than paid for”.

Geimer’s attorney praised the ruling on Friday and said it was time for the case to end.

The decision is not legally binding, as the prosecutors can now appeal the ruling.

The 82-year-old director did not attend the court hearing “because of emotional reasons” his lawyer Jan Olszewski told the judge. “There will always be someone who wants to promote themselves on a case attracting wide attention”.

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Public opinion in Poland has been mostly in Polanski’s favor, and many politicians have indicated reluctance to hand him over, arguing he has already paid a heavy price and repented for what he did.

Roman Polanski centre with his lawyers faces the press at the Bonarowski Palace Hotel in Krakow Poland