A judge in the Polish city of Krakow Friday rebuffed a request by the United States for the extradition of filmmaker Roman Polanski, who is wanted in California over a 1977 conviction for having sex with a 13- year-old girl.
According to reports from Krakow, Judge Dariusz Mazur ruled that deportation would be a deprivation of Polanski’s liberty and “obviously unlawful.” He also said California is unlikely to be able to incarcerate Polanski in humane fashion, given the filmmaker’s age; he’s 82.
Polanski is a citizen of France and Poland who is now in Poland working on a film. He was in Krakow today but did not attend the hearing.
The judge’s ruling could be appealed by the Polish or U.S. governments.
Polanski’s lawyer argued against the U.S. extradition request, noting that “The victim in this case did not want jail time for Polanski. …She forgave him” and, according to the Polish lawyer has said that the proceeding against Polanski “has harmed her more than what Mr. Polanski did to her.”
A regional prosecutor took another tack.
“In our opinion, there are no legal grounds to stop the extradition,” she said, according to the reports from Krakow. “The case has not expired under American law, and we do not think that the extradition is unlawful, on the basis of Polish law. There is no proof that Polanski will be treated inhumanely in the United States.”
Polanski was arrested in 1977 on charges that included the rape of a 13- year-old girl at the home of Jack Nicholson. He fled the country in 1978 as he was about to be sentenced, having agreed to plead guilty to statutory rape.
—City News Service