Fugitive filmmaker Roman Polanski appeared in a Polish court Wednesday in an inconclusive hearing prompted by a U.S. request for his extradition in connection with his 1977 conviction for having sex with a 13- year-old girl.
The 81-year-old Oscar-winning director, who has both French and Polish citizenship, testified at the closed hearing, according to news reports from Krakow.
The judge presiding over the hearing was quoted at saying that no ruling could be issued Wednesday because the court must still consider documents submitted by Polanski’s lawyers. The documents — written in English and German — stemmed from an unsuccessful U.S. attempt to have Polanski extradited from Switzerland in 2010. He had been arrested in Zurich in 2009.
If the Polish court were to rule for the United States, the extradition request would then be forwarded to Poland’s justice minister for a decision. If the judge rules for Polanski, the Polish component of the case will be over.
Polanski is in Poland preparing to make a movie about Alfred Dreyfus, the 19th-century French army officer wrongly accused of spying for Germany and ultimately cleared thanks in parts to the efforts of novelist Emile Zola.
Polanski pleaded guilty in 1977 to having unlawful sex with a 13-year- old girl during a photoshoot in Los Angeles. He served 42 days in jail as part of a 90-day plea bargain, then fled the country when he became fearful that the judge in the case would overrule the deal and send him to prison for years.
— City News Service