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Roman Polanski Free
July 12, 2010
6:36 pm
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greeney2
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I guess if you get away with fleeing for 30 years, the law means nothing anymore. This man is a child rapist, and all the legal horsecrap arguements he has doesn;t change that. Since this evolved another person, a young minor actress at the time came forward to say he did the same thing to her.

Roman Polanski free, Swiss reject US extradition request
By Bradley S. Klapper and Frank Jordans, Associated Press Writers
Posted: 07/12/2010 08:03:05 AM PDT
Updated: 07/12/2010 08:12:18 AM PDT

In this Monday, Sept. 29, 2008 file photo, Roman Polanski is seen in Oberhausen, western Germany. With his latest appeal rejected, Roman Polanski's fate once again lies in the hands of Swiss authorities. (AP Photo/Roberto Pfeil, File) (Roberto Pfeil)BERN, Switzerland — The Swiss government declared renowned film director Roman Polanski a free man on Monday after rejecting a U.S. request to extradite him on a charge of having sex in 1977 with a 13-year-old girl.
The Swiss mostly blamed U.S. authorities for failing to provide confidential testimony about Polanski's sentencing procedure in 1977-1978.

The stunning decision could end the United States' three-decade pursuit of Polanski, unless he travels to another country that would be willing to apprehend him and weigh sending him to Los Angeles. France, where he has spent much of his time, does not extradite its own citizens, and the public scrutiny over Switzerland's deliberations may dissuade other nations from making such a spectacular arrest.

The Swiss government said it had sought confidential testimony given on Jan. 26 by Roger Gunson, the Los Angeles attorney in charge of the original prosecution against Polanski. Washington rejected the request.

"Mr. Polanski can now move freely. Since 12:30 today he's a free man," Justice Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf declared.

Authorities in Los Angeles and Washington cannot appeal the Swiss decision. Sandy Gibbons, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office, declined to comment.

The Oscar-winning director of "Rosemary's Baby," "Chinatown" and "The Pianist" was accused of plying his victim with champagne and part of a Quaalude during a 1977 modeling shoot and raping her. He was

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initially indicted on six felony counts, including rape by use of drugs, child molesting and sodomy, but pleaded guilty to one count of unlawful sexual intercourse.
In exchange, the judge agreed to drop the remaining charges and sentence him to prison for a 90-day psychiatric evaluation. However, he was released after 42 days by an evaluator who deemed him mentally sound and unlikely to offend again. The judge responded by saying he was going to send Polanski back to jail for the remainder of the 90 days and that afterward he would ask Polanski to agree to a "voluntary deportation." Polanski then fled the country on the eve of his Feb. 1, 1978, sentencing.

Based on references to Gunson's testimony in U.S. courts, the Swiss said it "should prove" that Polanski served his sentence after undergoing 42 days of diagnostic study.

"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 ministry said.

The Justice Ministry also said that national interests were taken into consideration in the decision, and the wishes of the victim, Samantha Geimer, who long ago

publicly identified herself and has joined in Polanski's bid for dismissal.
"The 76-year-old French-Polish film director Roman Polanski will not be extradited to the USA," the ministry said in a statement. "The freedom-restricting measures against him have been revoked."

Polanski's lawyer Herve Temime said the director was still at his Swiss chalet in the resort of Gstaad, where he has been held under house arrest since December.

Switzerland's top justice official said he could now leave.

Temime told The Associated Press by telephone from his office in Paris that his client was ready to enjoy his freedom.

"This decision was certainly not expected," Temime said.

He praised Swiss authorities for making the responsible decision.

Approving extradition had seemed the likeliest scenario after Polanski was arrested on Sept. 26 as he arrived in Zurich to receive a lifetime achievement award from a film festival. Polanski had also suffered a series of legal setbacks this year in California courts.

Switzerland handles about 200 extradition requests a year and only about 5 percent are rejected, Widmer-Schlumpf said.

Widmer-Schlumpf said this decision was not meant to excuse Polanski's crime, saying the issue was "not about deciding whether he is guilty or not guilty."

The government said extradition had to be rejected "considering the persisting doubts concerning the presentation of the facts of the case."

Beyond the legal confusion, Polanski's extradition is a complicated and diplomatically sensitive because of Polanski's status as a cultural icon in France and Poland, where he holds dual citizenship, and his history as a Holocaust survivor whose first wife was murdered by crazed followers of cult leader Charles Manson in California.

French Culture Minister Frederic Mitterrand's office expressed satisfaction with the decision, nine months after Mitterrand said Polanski had been "thrown to the lions."

Widmer-Schlumpf said she informed authorities in the United States, France and Poland, in addition to Polanski's lawyer.

She said she hoped the decision wouldn't harm relations with Washington. The two countries have bickered in recent years over wealthy Americans hiding their money in the biggest Swiss bank, UBS AG, but have cooperated well on resettling prisoners at Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

"These were three completely different cases that have to be treated completely differently," Widmer-Schlump said.

Klapper reported from Geneva. AP correspondent Angela Charlton contributed from Paris.

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July 13, 2010
9:39 am
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Nesaie
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WHAT????

He is a child molester!!!!

Such a society would be dominated by an elite, unrestrained by traditional values. Soon it will be possible to assert almost continuous surveillance over every citizen... - Zbigniew Brezhinsky

July 13, 2010
5:50 pm
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greeney2
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But he made a few good movies and the rape was in "Jacks" house, so its Okay.

July 14, 2010
1:27 am
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Polanski only safe in France, Poland, Switzerland
Buzz up!34 votes ShareretweetEmailPrint AP – France actress and singer Emmanuelle Seigner, wife of Director Roman Polanski, enters a car as she leaves …
Slideshow:Director Roman Polanski Play Video Movies Video:DiCaprio's mindblowing new movie AP Play Video Movies Video:Angelina Jolie: Adrenaline junkie AP By BRADLEY S. KLAPPER, Associated Press Writer Bradley S. Klapper, Associated Press Writer – Tue Jul 13, 3:45 pm ET
GENEVA – Roman Polanski may once again be seen on the red carpet at Cannes — but he won't be attending the Venice Film Festival or the Oscars anytime soon.

Freed from Swiss house arrest after the government refused to deport him to the United States, the 76-year-old movie director still faces an Interpol warrant in effect for 188 countries for a 1977 child sex case.

That means now, more than ever, Polanski is truly safe from arrest only in his home nations of France and Poland, and — due to this week's stunning decision — Switzerland.

"He is in the situation he was in a year ago," said Georges Kiejman, a France-based lawyer for Polanski. "He is free to travel in Switzerland, in France, in Poland, and in all the countries that don't have extradition agreements with the United States."

Still, publicity about his case and the looming warrant is certain to curtail the director's future travels.

Most of Europe has arrangements with Washington on sending wanted individuals back and forth, but Polanski has traveled freely in numerous European countries since fleeing U.S. justice in 1978. He made his latest film "The Ghost Writer" in Germany last year and visited Austria just before the Swiss arrested him in September.

Polanski's whereabouts were still unclear Tuesday, a day after the Swiss government surprisingly decided to refuse a U.S. extradition request for the filmmaker to be sentenced for having sex with a 13-year-old girl, Samantha Geimer. Prosecutors in Los Angeles and justice officials in Washington have said they will continue to pursue Polanski.

Kiejman told The Associated Press that his client was "happy with his freedom."

"Give him a few days to breathe," Kiejman added, calling on the U.S. to scrap its international arrest warrant.

Geimer, who long ago identified herself as Polanski's victim, told the Los Angeles Times in a story posted Tuesday that the case should have been resolved 33 years ago when it happened.

"Enough is enough," she said of the continuing efforts to prosecute Polanski. She was barred from talking about her civil suit settlement with the director but said it didn't influence her views. "I've felt this way from the beginning," she said.

Since fleeing Los Angeles on the eve of on the eve of his Feb. 1, 1978, sentencing, the Oscar-winning director of "Rosemary's Baby," "Chinatown" and "The Pianist" has mainly lived in France, which does not extradite its own citizens. And he's spent long periods of time in Switzerland, which allowed him to buy a home in 2006.

Polanski, who survived the Holocaust and lost his mother at Auschwitz, also has Polish citizenship and can travel safely to the country where he spent most of his childhood.

But, after that, it's not so clear.

Italy has a long track record of working closely with American authorities and would likely go along with an American request to arrest Polanski. U.S.-Italian extradition problems have mainly centered on crimes that could entail the death penalty, which is irrelevant in Polanski's case. But that still means an appearance at the Venice Film Festival is probably out of the question.

Britain has an extradition treaty with the United States, and the Home Office says if there is a U.S. warrant out for Polanski's arrest and he was in the country, they would have to act on it. In 2005, Polanski successfully sued Vanity Fair magazine for libel in a London court, but could only testify by video from Paris.

Germany has a treaty with the U.S., too, but said Tuesday it wouldn't extradite Polanski. Justice Ministry spokesman Ulrich Staudigl told the AP that Polanski isn't on a German wanted list and can continue to travel to the country. Officials in Austria also showed lenience, saying he was free to come and go without a specific request for his arrest.

That had been the case in Switzerland, where Polanski traveled for years after his flight from U.S. justice, only to be arrested in September as he arrived in Zurich to receive an award at a film festival. Now, his safety has been legally guaranteed by the Swiss government.

"The decision has been taken and the file is closed," Swiss Justice Ministry spokesman Guido Balmer told The AP. "It would only be a different situation if it concerned a new crime."

Balmer said Polanski could even seek compensation for the two months he spent in prison and the seven months he was confined to his luxury chalet in the Swiss Alps.

Polanski was accused of plying his victim with champagne and part of a Quaalude during a 1977 modeling shoot and raping her. He was initially indicted on six felony counts, including rape by use of drugs, child molesting and sodomy, but pleaded guilty to one count of unlawful sexual intercourse.

In exchange, a Los Angeles judge agreed to drop the remaining charges and sentence him to prison for a 90-day psychiatric evaluation. He was released after 42 days by an evaluator who deemed him mentally sound and unlikely to offend again, but the judge threatened further sanctions and Polanski fled the United States.

The Swiss government said its decision to reject extradition was partly based on U.S. authorities' failure to turn over transcripts of secret testimony given by the attorney who originally handled the director's case. The testimony "should prove" that Polanski already served his sentence with the court-ordered diagnostic study, the Swiss Justice Ministry said.

Justice officials in Los Angeles and Washington decried the decision, and vowed to continue barring Polanski from the United States. L.A. prosecutors also said Polanski needed to return in person if he wanted to argue that his case was mishandled.

There was little fear the Swiss decision could damage Swiss-U.S. cooperation. Bilateral relations soured after a tax scandal involving wealthy Americans hiding money in the biggest Swiss bank, UBS AG, but improved with Switzerland's approval of a settlement to the dispute and its acceptance of three prisoners for resettlement from the U.S. prison at Guantanamo Bay.

But in a country long known for the low tax rates it offers the super-wealthy, many here were left with the impression that Polanski's case showed how the rich and famous enjoy special privileges in Switzerland.

"If the main character in this drama hadn't been Roman Polanski, but an unknown amateur actor, he would now be standing before a U.S. court," the daily Neue Luzerner Zeitung said in an opinion piece.

The main issue appeared to be how the Swiss government expanded its focus beyond the formalities of the American extradition request to pass judgment on allegations of misconduct by Los Angeles authorities.

"This was an admission that when higher interests are at stake, not everyone is equal before the law," wrote the widely respected Neue Zuercher Zeitung newspaper. "Some are a bit more equal."

Another Zurich paper, the Tages-Anzeiger, called the Swiss decision "shaky."

"It breaks with the tradition of only examining the formal correctness of extradition requests," it said. "Perhaps the new practice will in the future also benefit detainees who have less of a lobby than the world-famous director."

Polanski's future plans were are unclear, but people close to the filmmaker have said he was looking into directing a movie version of the Broadway show "God of Carnage."

And he may just turn up this weekend at Switzerland's Montreux Jazz Festival, where his wife, French singer Emmanuelle Seigner, is scheduled to perform Saturday.

July 14, 2010
1:58 am
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Nesaie
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I say we do it the old fashioned way. Lock him up in prison next to death row inmates and let them take care of it.

The majority of people in prison are there for pot, which I consider medicine. And here is this bleep, who is a child molester!!! I don't care what kind of career he had. He is a criminal.

Such a society would be dominated by an elite, unrestrained by traditional values. Soon it will be possible to assert almost continuous surveillance over every citizen... - Zbigniew Brezhinsky

July 14, 2010
9:21 am
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bionic
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Yeah..well..it is what it is
more proof that life, the ways of the world, are not often fair.

Willie Wonka quotes..
What is this Wonka, some kind of funhouse?
Why? Are you having fun?
A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest men.
We are the music makers, we are the dreamers of dreams

March 11, 2011
3:05 pm
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Cole_Trickle
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'It was only rape because I was 13': Roman Polanski victim speaks out on 34th anniversary of sexual assault

The woman who was raped by Roman Polanski in 1977 admitted today that the justice system's decades-long pursuit of the director has harmed her more than he ever did.

In an exclusive interview with Good Morning America on the 34th anniversary of the crime, Samantha Geimer, now in her mid-40s, said of the incident, which happened when she was 13: 'What I want people to know is that they don't understand what happened.

'They don't understand how poorly the courts handled it, the misconduct that went on in the original case and how the situation has been used for the benefit of judges or district attorneys.

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Cole

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