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In a motion that likened fleeing jail in L.A. to fleeing the Nazis in Poland, Roman Polanski’s legal team recently asked the court to reconsider its decision that, as a fugitive, he isn’t due advanced notice of whether he’d be sentenced to more jail time if he returned to the U.S. While not as allegorical, the prosecution isn’t mincing any words in its reply.
“Defendant presents, in his Motion to Reconsider, an embellished and self-serving characterization of the procedural history of this case,” writes L.A. deputy district attorney Michele Hanisee. “For clarity’s sake, the People do contradict the facts as defendant has described them.”
Polanski says he already served his time, and he wants the court’s guarantee that it will honor the 90-day sentence he was originally given decades ago — unlike the judge who he says tried to bait and switch him into 50 years behind bars back then.
At the center of the reply is Polanski’s reliance on the declaration of former court public information officer Allan Parachini — who Hanisee notes “was fired in disgrace in November of 2010, under accusations of accepting bribes for case information.” In the motion for reconsideration, Polanski attorney Harland Braun argues that Parachini’s testimony confirms secret agreements between judges regarding the director.
Parachini sent The Hollywood Reporter a statement decrying her claims. “By lashing out and accusing me and at least one attorney of unquestioned reputation, with no evidence, of a felony and falsely describing my departure from the court, the District Attorney adds to the self-inflicted damage that her office and the Los Angeles Superior Court have done to themselves by mishandling this case for more than 40 years,” he says. “The people and the court continue to shoot themselves in the foot.”
“The defendant has become the criminal version of a vexatious litigant,” writes Hanisee. “The People further request the Court to deny any future request to relitigate those issues absent a showing of new facts or a change in circumstance.”
To prove that he was justified in fleeing after the 1977 rape of a 13-year-old girl, Polanski says it’s necessary to unseal the transcript of former deputy district attorney Roger Gunson.
In response to the request, Hanisee questions the fickle reasoning behind it. First, she argues, Polanksi’s goal was to resolve an ancient case. Then the request was withdrawn because it had only been made to determine if prosecutors wanted to close the case or use it as a political football. Now, the request is purportedly in response to calls for transparency from the public and media.
“Defendant’s repetitive and duplicative filings, his admitted attempts to manipulate the People, and his apparent attempts to manipulate this Court with thinly veiled threats, constitute an abuse of the judicial process,” writes Hanisee.
A hearing on the matters is set for April 25.
April 21, 12:45 p.m. Updated with a statement from Allan Parachini.
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