To recap, 33 years ago, Roman Polanski was arrested for raping a 13-year-old at his house. He and the judge agreed on a plea bargain where he would spend 90 days in a “diagnostic evaluation.” Polanski was released after 42 days, and the judge, bowing to public opinion, reneged on the promise and planned to sentence him to a longer term. Whereupon Polanski fled to Europe for 30 years, until he was arrested in Switzerland in September. Meanwhile, all along, all the victim said she wanted was for the case to be over quickly. If you’re keeping score at home, it has now been SEVEN MONTHS since his arrest that nothing has happened, this despite extradition being the only possible reason to arrest him in the first place. He wasn’t wanted in Switzerland. Why would you arrest a guy on another country’s behalf and then not send him to that country? It’s not like they didn’t have time to figure out what they were going to do. They had THIRTY YEARS.
Where it stands now is, Roman Polanski is on house arrest in his chalet in Gstaad after posting $4.5 million bail. His lawyers have tried to get his case in the US thrown out on account of misconduct twice, and were denied. Most recently, they requested that Polanski be sentenced in absentia, which was also denied. Now Swiss legal experts say he’ll most likely be extradited, but that it would likely take “months of legal wrangling.” You have got to be f*cking kidding me.
Swiss authorities have cited the voluminous paperwork and said they would wait out a California court’s examination of whether Polanski could be sentenced in absentia for having sex in 1977 with a 13-year-old girl. But the U.S. court rejected Polanski’s sentencing request Thursday without an opinion. While his attorneys could still appeal to the California Supreme Court, legal experts saw little basis for Swiss authorities to reject handing over Polanski.
“Extradition is likely now,” said Dieter Jann, a former Zurich prosecutor. “Not much has changed, and Switzerland has a legal obligation here.”
The Swiss Justice Ministry said Friday it wouldn’t rush a decision since it still must receive and study the ruling by the California 2nd District Court of Appeal.
Yeah, no, great. No rush, you f*cks. Seven months is far too little time to decide whether to extradite the guy you arrested for the sole purpose of extraditing.
Swiss Justice Ministry spokesman Folco Galli urged patience.
“We can’t make a decision based on media reports. We have to study the ruling,” he told The Associated Press. He declined to say in which direction Swiss authorities were leaning but said “if it was obvious that he couldn’t be extradited, we wouldn’t have arrested him.” [Yahoo]
Thanks, senior minister of obviousness. Anyway, this brings me to a larger point: paying lawyers by the hour is one of the worst ideas anyone has ever had. The only other people you pay by the hour are the ones who are afraid of getting deported. If they weren’t, a month would go by and you’d come out to find your landscapers playing dice in a circle on your lawn.
“So, uh, do you think you guys will be able to start soon?”
“Si, soon, homes. But we guana study the ruleen for a leedo while longer first.”