Swiss Officials decide not to extradite Roman Polanski who is now free to go
July 12, 2010
(ChattahBox) – Famed director Roman Polanski will not be sent back to America to face charges of having sex in 1977, with a 13-year-old girl. The Swiss government has rejected a three-decade request for US extradition. According to the NY Times, Switzerland’s Justice Ministry gave several reasons for the extradition refusal, blaming U.S. authorities for failing to provide confidential records from Polanski’s criminal sentencing procedure in California in the late 1970s. But Swiss officials also said that “national interests” were taken into consideration. Originally indicted on six counts including rape by use of drugs, child molesting and sodomy, – all felonies – Polanski pleaded guilty to one count of unlawful sexual intercourse. In exchange, the judge Laurence J. Rittenband – now deceased – had originally agreed to sentence Polanski to a 90-day diagnostic study. Polanski was released after 42 days by an evaluator who deemed him mentally sound and unlikely to offend again, but judge Rittenband later summoned Polanski for additional sentencing, at which point he fled Hollywood and America, never to return. “If this were the case, Roman Polanski would actually have already served his sentence and therefore both the proceedings on which the U.S. extradition request is founded and the request itself would have no foundation,” the Swiss Justice Ministry said in a statement.
The 76-year-old Oscar winning filmmaker was taken into custody in September when he arrived in the country to receive a lifetime achievement award at a film festival in Zurich. Polanski has been held under house arrest in Gstaad, Switzerland for several months.