- Title: Poland says final 'no' to Polanski's extradition
- Date: 6th December 2016
- Summary: WARSAW, POLAND (DECEMBER 06, 2016) (REUTERS) EXTERIOR OF POLAND'S SUPREME COURT SUPREME COURT GIVING THE VERDICT DEFENCE ATTORNEYS FOR ROMAN POLANSKI, JAN OLSZEWSKI (LEFT) AND JERZY STACHOWICZ (RIGHT) IN COURT ROOM PROSECUTOR ATTENDEES (SOUNDBITE) (Polish) SUPREME COURT JUDGE, MICHAL LASKOWSKI, SAYING: "Even though we even agree with some of the opinions included in the appeal, in its explanation, we have not determined the ruling of the Krakow court to have been issued in a flagrant breach of the law." PROSECUTOR SPEAKING PROSECUTOR'S HANDS AND NOTES ATTENDEES COURT HEARING (SOUNDBITE) (Polish) DEFENCE ATTORNEY FOR ROMAN POLANSKI, JAN OLSZEWSKI, SAYING: "I have never assumed that I will become the participant of events where officials of my country put so much energy into handing its own citizen to a foreign country." JUDGES LISTENING OLSZEWSKI SPEAKING OLSZEWSKI SEEN ON CAMERA'S SCREEN PROSECUTOR STACHOWICZ SPEAKING JUDGES ATTENDEES (SOUNDBITE) (Polish) DEFENCE ATTORNEY FOR ROMAN POLANSKI, JAN OLSZEWSKI, SAYING: "We hope that this ruling becomes a stimulus for the American side to perhaps use existing legal opportunities to issue a ruling in absentia and consider the penalty served. Because a legal possibility exists, this has been advised by the Los Angeles appeals court and the fact this wasn't implemented came entirely out of ill intent, the grounds for which we have explained extensively in the court room." STACHOWICZ AND OLSZEWSKI SPEAKING TO MEDIA
- Embargoed: 21st December 2016 12:46
- Keywords: Poland Polanski USA extradition
- Location: WARSAW, POLAND
- City: WARSAW, POLAND
- Country: Poland
- Reuters ID: LVA0015BQX9HJ
- Aspect Ratio: 16:9
- Story Text: Poland's Supreme Court on Tuesday (December 6) upheld an earlier verdict that Oscar-winning filmmaker Roman Polanski cannot be extradited to the United States over a 1977 child sex conviction, bringing a definitive end to the Polish case.
The top court's verdict marks a defeat for Polish Prosecutor General and Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro, who wanted to hand Polanski over to United States.
The United States requested Polanski's extradition from Poland after he made a high-profile appearance in Warsaw in 2014. A Polish district court in the city of Krakow, where Polanski keeps an apartment, rejected the request last October.
But Poland's new conservative government merged the posts of justice minister and prosecutor general, opening a way to request an annulment of the lower court's ruling.
Earlier this year, Prosecutor General Ziobro filed for the annulment, arguing that Polanski's celebrity status had helped him escape justice.
The Supreme Court rejected Ziobro's request on Tuesday.
"Even though we even agree with some of the opinions included in the appeal, in its explanation, we have not determined the ruling of the Krakow court to be issued with a flagrant breech of the law," Judge Michal Laskowski said.
Ziobro said in a statement on Tuesday that he accepts and respects the Tuesday ruling.
Polanski's lawyers said the filmmaker has been deeply affected by the Polish case, which prevented him attending the funeral of another Oscar-winning Polish film director, Andrzej Wajda, in October.
The case of the Polish-born Polanski, now 83, remains a cause celebre after nearly four decades. He pleaded guilty in 1977 to having sex with a 13-year-old girl and served 42 days in jail after a plea bargain, but later fled the United States, fearing a lengthy jail sentence if the agreement was overruled.
In 2009, Polanski was arrested in Zurich on a U.S. warrant and placed under house arrest. He was freed in 2010 after Swiss authorities decided not to extradite him.
Samantha Geimer, the victim in the case, has made clear she believes Polanski's exile has been punishment enough. But the Los Angeles County District Attorney's Office has long insisted that Polanski remains a fugitive and subject to arrest in the United States.
"We hope that this ruling becomes a stimulus for the American side to perhaps use existing legal opportunities to issue a ruling in absentia and consider the penalty served," Olszewski said.
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