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Roman Polanski says extradition case based on a lie

Yahoo! News 05/03/2010 14:27
Roman Polanski says extradition case based on a lie - Roman Polanski - USA - crime - rape - celebrity - entertainment

Film director Roman Polanski has spoken out for the first time against the U.S. case to extradite him, saying the case was based on a lie.

Polanski, 76, is under house arrest in Switzerland awaiting extradition to face sentencing in Los Angeles for a more than 30-year-old sex crime. A California judge last month denied a request by his attorneys to sentence him in his absence.

(...) Last week, the film director's lawyers asked a judge to release records they claimed will help Swiss officials decide the Oscar winner's fate, but the Swiss Federal Department of Justice has said these are irrelevant for the decision.

"I can no longer remain silent because the United States continues to demand my extradition more to serve me on a platter to the media of the world than to pronounce a judgment concerning which an agreement was reached 33 years ago," Polanski said in a statement on Sunday night.

In 1977, Polanski pleaded guilty to unlawful sex with a 13-year-old girl in Los Angeles, but he fled the country in 1978 when he believed the judge in the case was going to sentence him to more time in jail than he had already served.

In recent years, evidence has been unearthed that suggests the judge, who has since died, may have acted improperly. Polanski's attorneys have argued that because of the judge's actions, the case should be dismissed.