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US tries to extradite Polanski from Poland

PR dla Zagranicy
Nick Hodge 30.10.2014 08:54
The US has attempted to extradite film director Roman Polanski from Poland on sex abuse charges, after he turned up in Warsaw for the History of Polish Jews Museum opening this week.

Roman Polanski (C) attends the opening of the main exhibition at the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews, Warsaw, 28 October. Photo: PAP/Radek Pietruszka

The Gazeta Wyborcza daily writes on Thursday that it was informed of the attempt to extradite the Polish-French film maker by “a high-ranking official” at Poland's Ministry of Justice.

The US reportedly contacted Poland's attorney-general asking that Polanski be detained so extradition procedures could begin.

Polanski fled from the US to France in 1978 after being accused of raping Samantha Geimer, then a 13 year-old girl in Los Angeles.

However, according to the source, the petition was rejected as it was not submitted in the Polish language.

“This was not a request for extradition, but for [Polanski's] detainment, so that extradition proceedings can be initiated,” the official told the newspaper.

“For the time being, we won't do anything, as the petition did not meet formal requirements, it is not translated into Polish, and that is required by international agreements.

“It will come to nothing, because the document will be amended, and in the meantime, Polanski will return to France – until next time.”

It is not known if Polanski is still in Poland.

The 81-year-old director was in Poland this week to attend the grand opening of the POLIN Museum of the History of Polish Jews.

Polanski's post-production on thriller The Ghost Writer was thrown into disarray when he was arrested in Switzerland in 2009 after a US request for his extradition concerning the 1978 case of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor.

Swiss authorities ultimately backed out of the extradition, but Polanski remains a wanted man in the US.

Although he has largely remained in France since the Swiss affair - Polanski has lived in Paris since 1978) - he has visited Poland, where he spent most of his youth, on several occasions of late.

He attended the funeral of film director Janusz Morgenstern in 2011, and this summer, the director was in talks to make part of his upcoming movie in Poland. It remains unclear whether the film, which is based on the 1895 French spy scandal The Dreyfus Affair, will be made in Poland. (nh/pg)

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