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Poland May Extradite Polanski to US over Statutory Rape Case

"Saint Laurent" Premiere - The 67th Annual Cannes Film Festival

Film director Roman Polanski, 81, was questioned by Polish prosecutors Thursday, concerning a US arrest warrant for statutory rape of a minor, but was finally released, AFP reported.

Polanski jumped bail and fled the U.S. in 1978, before he could be sentenced for having sex with a 13-year-old girl. Los Angeles police had charged Polanski with 6 felony counts, including rape and sodomy, in 1977, and he accepted a plea deal. But he fled the country on the eve of his sentencing a year later, fearing that the judge would renege on the deal.

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Prosecutors in Krakow released the renowned director after questioning, but the Polish justice ministry in Warsaw is considering extraditing him to the U.S.

“Roman Polanski said he would comply with all requests made by prosecutors in this case and provided his address. Prosecutors therefore decided not to arrest him in connection with a possible U.S extradition request, ” a Polish justice ministry spokesman told AFP on Thursday.

The United States attempted to for sex offenses when he

Polanski traveled to Warsaw for the opening of the new Museum of the History of Polish Jews, and the U.S. government asked the Polish prosecutor general to hold the Polish-French director until he could be extradited.

Martyniuk told that “the statute of limitations does not apply to U.S. requests.”

However, Martyniuk noted that since the U.S. had not yet formally asked for an extradition, Polanski “is a free citizen and is free to travel.”

Last year, Polanski’s victim, Samantha Geimer, now 51 and the mother of 3, published her account of what happened, in a book titled “The Girl: A Life Lived in the Shadow of Roman Polanski.”

“My family never asked that Polanski be punished, ” Geimer said recently. “We just wanted the legal machine to stop.”



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