POLAND’S HIGH COURT SHOULD DENY U.S. REQUEST FOR EXTRADITION IN THE ROMAN POLANSKI MATTER

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In 1977, Roman Polanski was 43 and wildly successful as a film director, producer, writer, and actor. His more successful efforts included “Repulsion” (1965), “Rosemary’s Baby (1965) and “Knife in the Water” (1962). In 1969, his pregnant wife, Sharon Tate was killed by followers of Charles Manson in a grizzly scene at Polanski’s Benedict Canyon California home. Polanski was filled with grief and retreated to Europe where he eventually directed a series of films until he returned to the U.S. to direct “Chinatown” in 1974, followed by “The Tenant” in 1976.

Things were going well for “The Man About Town”– he mixed with all the big stars, including Jack Nicholson. Polanski befriended the mother of 13-year-old Samantha Geimer, and she arranged for her daughter to do a photo shoot at Nicholson’s Los Angeles home. Following primers of alcohol and drugs, things escalated: Mr. Polanski was arrested in 1977 on charges that included the rape of the 13-year-old girl. Polanski copped to the lesser included offense of statutory rape wherein it was believed that he would receive a probationary disposition. Once he discovered that the judge handling the case was less than judicious and didn’t intend to honor the sweet deal, Polanski went into the wind in 1978. He surfaced in Paris and Poland where he has been under the threat of extradition.

A Polish court rejected a U.S. request to extradite Polanski back to the States to face the original charges last year, however, the Polish government said on Tuesday that it would revive an effort to extradite the filmmaker.   Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro,  Poland’s chief prosecutor, said he had decided to appeal the decision to the Supreme Court, calling the lower court’s decision a “serious breach” of the extradition agreement between the United States and Poland, according to the New York Times. 

OUR OPINION: The victim, in this case, has long since forgiven Mr. Polanski for his actions and has chosen to move on with her life. There is ample evidence to support the argument that prosecutors, in this case, placed fame and notoriety above Ms. Samantha Geimer’s interests. In her memoirs, she writes about how she was kept out of the loop and used as a pawn. Revisiting this episode would only cause her to be victimized again and would serve no important purpose other than massaging the egos of prosecutors and the political goals of the zealot (and goofy), Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro. The high court in Poland should recognize and give deference to Ms. Geimer’s interests, the passage of time, the alleged corruption of the judge, the motivation of the prosecutors, and unlikelihood of Polanski receiving justice in California, and deny the extradition request.

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Update: 12/6/2016– High Court of Poland Follows Sopusa.net’s advice.

The Polish Supreme Court on Tuesday rejected a government request to extradite Roman Polanski, the Oscar-winning filmmaker, to the United States over a decades-old conviction for having sex with a 13-year-old girl. The New York Times reported:

The decision almost certainly ends the legal battle in Poland over how to deal with Mr. Polanski, although as a practical matter, even a ruling in favor of the government would have had little effect. Mr. Polanski, a dual citizen of France and Poland, lives in France, which does not extradite its citizens.

Judge Michal Laskowski ruled that a lower court’s verdict was not a ‘flagrant violation of the law,’ as the request for an appeal had claimed. ‘The regional court of Krakow considered and verified all evidence exceptionally carefully,’ Judge Laskowski said.”

 

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