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July 12, 2010

Swiss justice ministry formally refuses US extradition request for Roman Polanski

I happen to be off-line for most of the day, and the Swiss let an (in)famous sex offender go free.  This article from The Guardian, which is headlined "Roman Polanski escapes extradition to US: Film director goes free after nine months under house arrest in Switzerland," provides the basic details:

Roman Polanski, the film director who has been under house arrest in Switzerland for the past nine months, has been declared a free man after officials decided not to extradite him to the United States.

The Swiss justice ministry said it had decided against handing the fugitive director to the US, where he is wanted for sentencing for having sex with a 13-year-old girl 33 years ago.

"The Swiss justice ministry will not extradite Roman Polanski to the United States," Eveline Widner-Schlumpf, a ministry official said at a press conference in Bern. "The Franco-Polish film-maker will not be extradited to the United States, and the measures of restriction on his liberty have been lifted."

She said national interests had been considered before the decision was made, adding: "Polanski is now a free man." Polanski was arrested on a US warrant last year while in Zurich to collect a lifetime achievement award for his film work. He was kept under house arrest at his Swiss chalet in the mountain resort of Gstaad.

He will now be able to move beyond his garden for the first time. An electronic tag has been removed from his ankle. The Swiss decision is likely to cause diplomatic tensions between Switzerland and the US.

Widner-Schlumpf added: "The reason for the decision lies in the fact that it was not possible to exclude with the necessary certainty a fault in the US extraditionary request."

The Los Angeles Times has this blog report with a title that sums up the official reaction to the Swiss ministry ruling: "Roman Polanski freeing meets with outrage from prosecutors, U.S. State Department."

July 12, 2010 at 07:28 PM | Permalink

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Comments

We frequently violate conditions of extradition and sentencing. Quite often when extradition is agreed to with stipulations placed on the extradition, those stipulations are immediately violated with a superseding indictment upon the defendants return. It is quite reasonable for the Swiss to be skeptical about sentencing when they were not provided court documents.

Posted by: beth | Jul 12, 2010 7:56:28 PM

long past time a county called the U.S on the lies it's govt offices have been telling for years in 1,000's of extradition requests.

GOOD FOR THEM! espeicaly for such a JUNKER of a case in the first place that never should have happen. Now to see if he's got the guts to file charges in swis court and demand damages from the US and have US accets seized there. Would be another case of being hoist on our OWN WORDS and ACTIONS!

Posted by: rodsmith | Jul 13, 2010 1:25:43 AM

What was the fault in the extradition request?

Posted by: Mark Pickrell | Jul 13, 2010 1:36:51 PM

seems the LA Da refused to provide an answer to this question!

"In its decision Monday, the Swiss Justice Department said it could not exclude the possibility that the extradition request was "undermined by a serious fault" because the U.S. had failed to turn over certain documents.

Specifically, the Swiss wanted to determine whether the 42 days Polanski had already spent in a Los Angeles jail would have been considered sufficient time served for having sex with a minor."

which would be hard to do since he's already stated world wide he intends to HAMMER him.

can't possible give up the documents from the orginal trial which specificaly stated that his sentence would be what the dr.s decided it would be during the psych eval.

Posted by: rodsmith | Jul 13, 2010 3:11:09 PM

almost forgot that quote came from here!

http://latimesblogs.latimes.com/lanow/2010/07/roman-polanski-arrest-meets-with-outrage-from-prosecutors-us-state-department/comments/page/4/#comments

Posted by: rodsmith | Jul 13, 2010 3:11:45 PM

Score one for true, actual JUSTICE!!! What a concept!!!!

Posted by: George | Jul 13, 2010 11:29:13 PM

I feel nothing but contempt for the idiots who think justice has been served; an admitted, repeated child rapist avoids the law of many lands by having enough money to run. Thank G-d he didn't rape your child or did he? I know some people who wouldn't mind for whatever "prestige" it would bring, child's damaged psyche be damned. I don't see Switzerland's point for refusing to hand Polanski over, is it customary to block legal requests on pending legal issues? I admit the Swiss excuse will never be acceptable to me for allowing this monster to go free but I hope Switzerland enjoys their status as a child rapist-friendly country. I'm just a person who is interested in matters of justice who sees too little of it in the world lately.

Posted by: Paul Wall | Jul 15, 2010 2:15:20 AM

the problem paul is that people who think like you are the very ones destroying the justice in the world.

This case was a junker 33 years ago when the DA and Judge decided to break the spirit if not the actual law and go back on a plea bargain they had arranged and decided instead to stage a media event. At that point this man who was NOT a U.S Citizen being shafted by one U.S Court had no possible reason to trust another one. So he went home! Under the law in france they will not extridite their citizens but they will try them there if the crime comitted is also a crime there which rape would have been had the u.s bothered to try. it never happened. Instead the man made peace with the vic! to the tune of millions of dollars in a settement. fast forward 33 years LA has a DA who wants to be elected to a higher office. Time to dig up somethign anything that will get him in to the papers and you know why it was in the papers. Guess what a reporter and filmaker found the truth about the original DA and Judges lies and turned it into a MOVIE! So numnut is mad his office has been made to look like the retards they are and decided this man would make the perfect patsy to carry him to higher office.

Posted by: rodsmith | Jul 16, 2010 1:21:28 AM

Then we come to the kicker the Present DA REFUSED to give the swiss govt the legal documents required under the LAW to show his original sentence. If we refuse to obey our laws WHY SHOULD ANYONE ELSE.

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