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On Thursday, a court in the Polish city of Krakow adjourned until May 22 on a hearing to decide whether to extradite Roman Polanski to the U.S. to face sentencing for raping a 13-year-old girl in 1977.
The 81-year-old French born director, who holds dual French-Polish citizenship, has been a fugitive from U.S. justice for nearly 40 years after fleeing the country fearing a judge would renege on a plea-bargain deal.
Polish judge Dariusz Mazur, sitting in a regional court of the southern city of Krakow, where Polanski grew up after his family moved back to Poland just before the outbreak of World War II, said he wanted U.S. authorities to provide more documents to back up their extradition request.
Mazur will also ask a Swiss court, which rejected an extradition claim on the same charges against Polanski in 2010, for access to papers from that case.
Polanski was not in court on Thursday. Previously his lawyers had said they would seek fuller documentation from the U.S side.
The director, who won an Oscar in 2003 for his film The Pianist, about a Jewish musician living in hiding during the war, is currently prepping a film in the city based on the Dreyfus case about an early 20th century French military officer and Jew who was falsely accused of espionage. He had asked Polish authorities for assurances that he would not be extradited if he shot the film in Poland. Paris-based Polanski is safe from extradition in France as the country does not extradite its own citizens.
Polanski, who was born to a Jewish father, himself lived in hiding in Krakow during the war, sheltered from Nazi occupying forces by a Catholic family.
Agnieszka Odorowicz, head of the Polish Film Institute, told The Hollywood Reporter that U.S authorities had so far failed to send all documentation required for the hearing.
“The Americans did not send those documents to the court in Switzerland,” she said.”We hope that this time the State Department will agree to forward copies of these documents to the Polish court.”
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