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Polanski already punished enough, attorney says in preview of legal strategy

November 20, 2009 |  7:56 am

An attorney for Roman Polanski said the famed director has been punished enough for having sex with a 13-year-old girl more than three decades ago, offering clues as to how he might fight extradition to the United States.

Herve Temime, in an interview with the French newspaper Le Figaro, said he believes the 42 days that Polanski spend at a California prison for various psychiatric tests back 1978 -- before he was scheduled to be sentenced -- is punishment enough.

Polanski pleaded guilty to having sex with the girl at Jack Nicholson's home. But he fled the country before sentencing, convinced, Temime said, that the judge in the case was treating him unfairly. The conduct of the judge was the subject of an HBO documentary.

"We also maintain that Mr. Polanski did not face a fair trial in Los Angeles," Temime told the French paper. "For all these reasons, among others, his position remains unchanged: He will not accept being extradited to the United States."

Temime also said the fact that the crime occurred 30 years ago should be considered in decided whether Polanski should be extradited to the U.S. Polanski is now in a Zurich jail awaiting a ruling by Swiss authorities whether he should be sent back to Los Angeles.

Swiss authorities have said Polanski could face up to two years in prison if sent back to L.A.

-- Shelby Grad