Monday, July 12, 2010
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 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.
Wow another spoiled wealthy famous Hollywood celebrity walks away scott free ... AND it took over 30 years just to put him under house arrest , but if you are angry about it look at it this way, he's France's problem thats his home, he'll never step on U.S. soil as long as he lives, he'll never attend another holly wood award show or holly wood party walk the streets or playgrounds of hollywood ever again, thats not enough punishment of course, but think a moment, to a movie director like polanski exile from babylon
is more than just a humiliation or inconvenience , its well exile. and also we get to punish the french we dont have to pay for his jail stay and for as long as he lives the french have to keep an eye on him.
or maybe they dont care who knows? but the thing is it really isnt like he got off scott free this thing will alWAYS HANG like a cloud over his head, he wont go down in history as the brave little film director that survived hitler and Charles Manson he will always be remembered as the rotten little pervert who molested a 13 year old child. and to a self centered egomaniac from hollywood culture perhaps that is at least some punishment to console the outraged.
but i think the thing that really BUGS me about this is NOT that the French have granted one of their own haven for 33 years is that we dont see what this says about our own culture, we let him go, and we dont see the real perversion
WE ARE OBSESSED WITH CELEBRITY we spoil and pamper them constantly obsess over their person lives
and then act dumfounded when they act out
the french want him so bad let them keep him hes their problem
he'll never visit hollywood again hes no longer our problem
perhaps we should concentrate on other issues
reaction here and in europe differs greatly