Roman Polanski Faces New Extradition Challenge Over Child Sex Conviction

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Roman Polanksi

Poland's justice minister says he will appeal a court decision not to extradite the Oscar-winning director.

Roman Polanski faces a fresh extradition challenge after the Polish government announced Tuesday it would appeal a court decision not to force him to face U.S. courts over a 1977 child sex conviction.

Zbigniew Ziobro, justice minister and prosecutor general, said his decision was because Polanski was "accused of and wanted for…a rape of a child," Polish state news agency PAP reported.

U.S. authorities launched extradition proceedings after Polanski appeared in Krakow in 2014 to announce plans to make a film there.

Poland's new right-wing government, elected last October shortly before the court decision, has long argued that Polanski should face justice.

Jaroslaw Kaczynski, the leader of the ruling Law and Justice Party, made clear the party's position just before it came to power, saying the fugitive filmmaker should be expected to face U.S. justice.

Explaining the decision to appeal the decision, Ziobro was quoted by the Polish radio station Tok FM as saying that the Polanski case was "for many Poles regarded as a litmus test," and it should prove that no people get preferential treatment because of their social status.

Jan Olszewski, Roman Polanski's lawyer, told Polish television network TVN24 that the minister's move was "anticipated."

He emphasized that the court was not considering whether Polanski is guilty but should only be concerned with whether he can be extradited.

Polanski lives in France, where he is safe from extradition, but he holds dual French and Polish citizenship. He keeps an apartment in Krakow, in southern Poland, where he is currently preparing a film based on the Dreyfus Affairs, a notorious case of miscarriage of justice in early 20th-century France, which the Polish Flm Institute has agreed to co-finance.

 

 

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