Polish Court to US: You Can't Have Polanski

Court denies US extradition request, but case may not be over
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 30, 2015 9:18 AM CDT
Polish Court to US: You Can't Have Polanski
In this Wednesday, Feb. 25, 2015 file photo, Roman Polanski speaks to the press after a hearing concerning a US request for his extradition in Krakow, Poland.   (AP Photo/Alik Keplicz, File)

A Polish court has rejected a US request to extradite Roman Polanski, who admitted to having unlawful sex with a minor in 1977 but fled the night before he was to be sentenced. Judge Dariusz Mazur said granting the request would be "obviously unlawful," because it was unlikely that the 82-year-old would be treated humanely in California, reports the New York Times. As the AP puts it, the judge expressed that a human-rights violation could occur because Polanski could be subjected to confinement. Though Polanski lives in France, which doesn't extradite its own, US authorities tried the request while Polanski was in Poland working on a film. Does the ruling mean the case is over? Not necessarily.

The Polish court's verdict is subject to appeal within seven days. If an appeal is made, and if it is successful, it could make extradition likely, because the new Law and Justice party government to be installed in November has indicated there would be no leniency for Polanski, as it makes a point of applying laws strictly and equally to all. The AP has more on the circumstances surrounding Polanski's exit from the US: After pleading guilty in 1977 to one count of statutory rape, he was ordered to undergo a psychiatric study at a state prison, where he served 42 days. Lawyers have said they understood from a private conversation with the judge that the time in prison would be Polanski's punishment, but they said the judge later suggested Polanski would go back to prison, at which point he fled to France. (Read more Roman Polanski stories.)

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