Oscar winning director Roman Polanski got both good and bad news over the Passover holiday. Last week a Polish court decided to delay an extradition hearing against him for the 40 year old charges of rape in the State of California until May 22nd, but at the same time his victim who was only 13 years old at the time said that she is willing to now testify.
Polansky has both Polish and French citizenship. His French citizenship has allowed the 81 year old to avoid extradition to the U.S. while enjoying freedom of movement through much of Europe. He fled just before a sentencing hearing for statutory rape, in spite of the fact that a plea deal in place would not have required him to go to jail.
In 1977 the director of “The Piano” and “Rosemary’s Baby” was to formally accept the plea deal in a California court for having plied one Samantha Geimer with drugs and alcohol before molesting her.
The Polish Judge said that he decided to delay the proceeding because he wanted to give the American authorities more time to provide him with more documentation in support of their extradition request.
Agnieszka Odorowicz, head of the Polish Film Institute, told The Hollywood Reporter, “The Americans did not send those documents to the court in Switzerland. We hope that this time the State Department will agree to forward copies of these documents to the Polish court.”
On the surface this sounds like good news for Polanski since it could mean that the Polish judge has not been convinced by the American argument for extradition as of yet.
But now comes word that Polanski’s victim may testify. Lawrence Silver, Samantha Geimer’s lawyer, told NDTV that his client is willing to appear in court. But who knows what she will say.
Over the years it has been reported that she does not want to see the case reopened. But has she now changed her mind and so intends to ask the judge to approve extradition?
And even if she testifies on Polanski’s behalf will this, under the law and international treaties, even matter as to the judge’s final decision.