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Roman Polanski extradition could take up to a year, Swiss officials say


Swiss officials could take up to a year before deciding whether to extradite film director Roman Polanski back to Los Angeles to face sentencing for having sex with a 13-year-old girl.

Polanski was arrested in Zurich last year in connection with the three-decade-old child-sex case and has spent the last few months under house arrest at his chalet in the Swiss Alps.

L.A. prosecutors want Polanski to return to the U.S., where he fled just before being sentenced in the sex case. Polanski's attorneys are fighting extradition.

A Swiss justice ministry official told the Le Matin Dimanche newspaper this week that there was no set timetable for a decision.

"After an extradition decision by the Swiss justice ministry, Mr. Polanski has the possibility of appealing to the Federal Criminal Court and then the Federal Supreme Court," Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf said. "It's hard to say how long [an appeal] would take, but it could be from several months to a year."

An L.A. judge last month rejected Polanski's request to be sentenced in absentia.

-- Shelby Grad

Photo: Roman Polanski in court in the 1970s. Credit: Los Angeles Times

Comments () | Archives (4)

The wheels of Swiss justice do grind exceeding fine!

On 26th September 2009 French/Polish National Roman Polanski had travelled to accept an honor, a lifetime achievement award at the Zurich film festival, in Switzerland.

In the past Switzerland has acted neutrally, but Roman Polanski was arrested upon arrival in Switzerland, in a bait and switch operation typical of Los Angeles.

A good reason for holding a Film Festival in Zurich Switzerland prior to the film maker Roman Polanski's arrest, is so that filmmakers could air their films without a fear of retaliation and reprisals.

There are filmmakers from many different countries who can get into all sorts of trouble for showing their films, as many countries place restrictions on filmmakers in what they can show,

Or other countries may still harbor resentment for what has been shown already.

Arresting one of the most famous directors in the world, Roman Polanski on his way to a film festival in Switzerland, has the dubious distinction - of sending a chilling message to filmmakers everywhere.

THAT is what all the Movie Directors & Entertainment Industry people are complaining about. They want to keep FREE SPEECH and a feeling of safety and security in all the world's film festivals, when their films are shown, including Zurich Switzerland.

In addition the culprit against free speech, Los Angeles has been covered up by Switzerland who in carrying out the bait and switch operations is the facade, and Los Angeles's action to dampen free speech at the Zurich Film Festival which Switzerland complied with, is dispersed and lost in the shuffle.

In Conclusion Switzerland Officials had plenty of opportunity to arrest Polanski without using their Swiss Film Festival, and by going along with Los Angeles it is obvious that they are no longer thinking independently.

@Pete Cicero

Roman Polanski was arrested for being a felon to a very serious crime - that of raping a 13-year old girl.

What does Free Speech have to do with this?

What's Free Speech got to do with it?...

The Swiss and Los Angeles Prosecutors could have arrested Roman Polanski at any time at his home in Switzerland.

But there was no real interest until the movie, Polanski - Wanted And Desired, by Marina Zenovich.

The movie with authentic original footage from the Santa Monica Courthouse, California in 1977/8 made the Los Angeles authorities look bad, because of the Judicial and Prosecutorial misconduct in Polanski's case, with backroom dealings in Judges chambers, staged hearings etc, the Judge reneging on a plea deal, and the Judge wanting to illegally take away Polanski's rights to fight deportation.

Perhaps Los Angeles should have arrested Marina Zenovich for making that movie, instead of Polanski, but somebody had to be blamed and Polanski was arrested on the way to a Swiss film festival which had the effect of maximizing the shock and awe of the arrest after 32 years.

The Los Angeles authorities also waited until 2 days after Roman Polanski's American wife and child's murderer had died in a California prison. Only 2 days...

The fall out from arresting Roman Polanski on the way to the 2009 Swiss Film Festival in Zurich has a chilling effect on many filmmakers.

The arrest is a Swiss betrayal not only to Polanski, but is an affront to all filmmakers in all countries whether they attended the film festival or not.

No longer will filmmakers feel safe in Switzerland, or necessarily at any Film Festival especially if the film is controversial, because now after Zurich's Film Festival 2009- filmmakers know that anything can happen ...

Free Speech has been chilled in this way...The arrest of Polanski on the way to a film festival in Switzerland that was supposed to honor him, has a chilling effect on FREE SPEECH in the movie industry.

Los Angeles should not have used the Swiss Film Festival in Zurich in a dual manner to bait Roman Polanski - and nor should the Swiss Officials have allowed their film festival to be used in this way.

In addition there is ambiguity regardless of the stated reason, as as to why Los Angeles wanted Polanski arrested after 32 years, when he has been very visible and not been in hiding.

Was Polanski really arrested solely for consensual sex with an underage girl 32 years ago?

Or was Polanski really arrested by Los Angeles as revenge for Zenovich's movie Wanted and Desired that has now exposed the Judicial and Prosecutorial Misconduct in the Santa Monica Courthouse against Polanski's 32 years ago,

That's a FREE SPEECH issue in Zenovich's movie, where Roman Polanski is getting a backlash and arrest - in retaliation for Zenovich's movie Polanski: Wanted and Desired that exposes the Judicial and Prosecutorial misconduct in the Santa Monica Courthouse that occured 32 years ago against Roman Polanski.

Also perhaps Los Angeles prosecutors are still miffed with Roman Polanski for not giving the movie Chinatown a happy Hollywood ending?


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