Switzerland frees Roman Polanski

Senior Editor
07.12.10 31 Comments


Just to recap, Roman Polanski was arrested in September of last year on 30-year old rape charges.  He wasn’t wanted in Switzerland, but Swiss authorities arrested him on behalf of the US, presumably in order to extradite him.  After nine months, the Swiss have decided to release him.  Meanwhile, all the victim ever said she wanted was for the case to be resolved as quickly as possible.  So it’s a good thing the Swiss spent nine months getting this case back in the headlines in order to RESOLVE ABSOLUTELY NOTHING AT ALL.

BERN, Switzerland – The Swiss government declared renowned film director Roman Polanski a free man on Monday after rejecting a U.S. request to extradite him on a charge of having sex in 1977 with a 13-year-old girl. [Unconsentual, I think being the key word here.  Get your sh*t together, AP.]

The Swiss mostly blamed U.S. authorities for failing to provide confidential testimony about Polanski’s sentencing procedure in 1977-1978.

The Swiss government said it had sought confidential testimony given on Jan. 26 by Roger Gunson, the Los Angeles attorney in charge of the original prosecution against Polanski. Washington rejected the request.

The issue in the case was that 30 years ago, the judge sentenced Polanski to a 90-day psych evaluation that Polanski’s lawyers said was essentially a plea bargain.  But then when Polanski had completed it (released after 42 days, anyway…), the judge bowed to public pressure and sought to sentence Polanski to prison time, at which point Polanski fled.

Based on references to Gunson’s testimony in U.S. courts, the Swiss said it “should prove” that Polanski served his sentence after undergoing 42 days of diagnostic study.

“If this were the case, Roman Polanski would actually have already served his sentence and therefore both the proceedings on which the U.S. extradition request is founded and the request itself would have no foundation,” the ministry said. [AP]

Seems like they could’ve figured this out before they arrested Roman Polanski, considering, you know THEY HAD THIRTY F*CKING YEARS.  Said Polanski’s lawyer, “We’re glad for this ordeal to be over.  Let’s not forget, my client had to spend six months locked up in a Swiss chalet.  A chalet!  Oh God, it’s too terrible!” and then burst into tears.

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