The new Polish government has asked for the extradition of the 82 year old famous director, actor, writer and producer, Roman Polanski. The newly elected Law and Justice party wants him extradited to the US over a 1977 conviction for sex with a minor.
This stand is consistent with what the party said during the campaign, particularly in its final stretch. Chairman of the Law and Justice Party and former Prime Minister of Poland, Jarosław Kaczyński, said, “There was open talk that he should not be made responsible for his deeds because he is an outstanding, world-famous film-maker. We will totally reject this attitude”. He said this while speaking to Associated Press.
Polanski is due to appear in court on October 30th. His extradition decision could be made then, if the now ruling party’s comments are to be believed. This is excpected to be the final court session. Polanski’s lawyers have however argued that justice has already been served. They are currently lobbying with officials to fight the US attempt to bring him and make him face charges.
Polanski was convicted in the US for having sex with a 13-year-old girl but fled to France, where he holds citizenship, to avoid sentencing. French law forbids extradition of its citizens.
The incident happened in the US in 1977. He fled the US a year later, shortly before being sentenced for unlawful sex with a minor girl. Polanski has been staying mostly in Paris since then. He was however arrested in 2009 while entering Switzerland to receive a prize at the Zurich Film Festival. But the Swiss authorities eventually backed down and just kept him under house arrest for several months at his villa in Gstaad.
Some people have commented that Polanski might not be in court in Kraków during its final session, because he knows that he could very well be extradited to the United States. He may decide to stay back in France. Polanski has visited Poland frequently, as this is where he grew up.