ROMAN POLANSKI: A FREE MAN

Polanski free, Swiss reject US extradition request
Mon Jul 12, 9:03 AM

http://ca.news.yahoo.com/s/capress/100712/world/roman_polanski_6?printer=1

By Bradley S. Klapper,Frank Jordans, The Associated Press

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.

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

The stunning decision could end the United States’ three-decade pursuit of Polanski, unless he travels to another country that would be willing to apprehend him and weigh sending him to Los Angeles. France, where he has spent much of his time, does not extradite its own citizens, and the public scrutiny over Switzerland’s deliberations may dissuade other nations from making such a spectacular arrest.

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.

“Mr. Polanski can now move freely. Since 12:30 today he’s a free man,” Justice Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf declared.

The Oscar-winning director of “Rosemary’s Baby,” ”Chinatown” and “The Pianist” was accused of plying his victim with champagne and part of a Quaalude during a 1977 modeling shoot and raping her. He was initially indicted on six felony counts, including rape by use of drugs, child molesting and sodomy, but pleaded guilty to one count of unlawful sexual intercourse.

In exchange, the judge agreed to drop the remaining charges and sentence him to prison for a 90-day psychiatric evaluation. However, he was released after 42 days by an evaluator who deemed him mentally sound and unlikely to offend again. The judge responded by saying he was going to send Polanski back to jail for the remainder of the 90 days and that afterward he would ask Polanski to agree to a “voluntary deportation.” Polanski then fled the country on the eve of his Feb. 1, 1978, sentencing.

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, the statement said.

“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.

The Justice Ministry also said that national interests were taken into consideration in the decision.

“The 76-year-old French-Polish film director Roman Polanski will not be extradited to the USA,” the ministry said in a statement. “The freedom-restricting measures against him have been revoked.”

Polanski’s lawyer Herve Temime said the director was still at his Swiss chalet in the resort of Gstaad, where he has been held under house arrest since December.

Switzerland’s top justice official said he could now leave.

Temime told The Associated Press by telephone from his office in Paris that his client was ready to enjoy his freedom.

“This decision was certainly not expected,” Temime said.

He praised Swiss authorities for making the responsible decision.

Approving extradition had seemed the likeliest scenario after Polanski was arrested on Sept. 26 as he arrived in Zurich to receive a lifetime achievement award from a film festival. Polanski had also suffered a series of legal setbacks this year in California courts.

Switzerland handles about 200 extradition requests a year and only about 5 per cent are rejected, Widmer-Schlumpf said.

Widmer-Schlumpf said this decision was not meant to excuse Polanski’s crime, saying the issue was “not about deciding whether he is guilty or not guilty.”

The government said extradition had to be rejected “considering the persisting doubts concerning the presentation of the facts of the case.”

Beyond the legal confusion, Polanski’s extradition is a complicated and diplomatically sensitive because of Polanski’s status as a cultural icon in France and Poland, where he holds dual citizenship, and his history as a Holocaust survivor whose first wife was murdered by crazed followers of cult leader Charles Manson in California.

Widmer-Schlumpf said she informed authorities in the United States, France and Poland, in addition to Polanski’s lawyer.

___

Klapper reported from Geneva. AP correspondent Angela Charlton contributed from Paris.

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Switzerland won’t extradite Polanski to the U.S.
Swiss release director, claim U.S. failed to share confidential testimonyVideo Switzerland won’t extradite Polanski to U.S. .Photos Roman Polanski’s life, career .Timeline Roman Polanski: Tragedy, scandal and success .
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updated 2 hours 34 minutes ago
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.

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

The stunning decision could end the United States’ three-decade pursuit of Polanski, unless he travels to another country that would be willing to apprehend him and weigh sending him to Los Angeles. France, where he has spent much of his time, does not extradite its own citizens, and the public scrutiny over Switzerland’s deliberations may dissuade other nations from making such a spectacular arrest.

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.

“Mr. Polanski can now move freely. Since 12:30 today he’s a free man,” Justice Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf declared.

Authorities in Los Angeles and Washington cannot appeal the Swiss decision. Sandy Gibbons, a spokeswoman for the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, declined to comment.

Case dates to 1977
The Oscar-winning director of “Rosemary’s Baby,” “Chinatown” and “The Pianist” was accused of plying his victim with champagne and part of a Quaalude during a 1977 modeling shoot and raping her. He was initially indicted on six felony counts, including rape by use of drugs, child molesting and sodomy, but pleaded guilty to one count of unlawful sexual intercourse.

http://today.msnbc.msn.com/id/38201135/ns/today-entertainment/?GT1=43001

Today is indeed a good day for Samskara Impressions. After months of legal wrangling and secretive shennanigans on behalf of California District Attorney Steve Cooley and his henchman Dave Walgren along with the complicity of Supreme Court Judge Peter Espinoza, the Swiss under Justice Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf, refused the request by the United States to hand Roman Polanski over to the US. In what may have come as a shock, Justice Minister Widmer-Schlumpf denied the extradition application due to the petitioner’s failure to provide full disclosure on the case at hand. What in particular Justice Widmer-Schlumpf wanted was a deposition given by former District Attorney Roger Gunson on Rittenband’s conduct, which has been held under seal by Judge Espinoza.

By her order, Justice Widmer-Schlumpf has stated for the public record that Roman Polanski had not only served his time for his offense, but also denied the United States from issuing any further extradition warrants for Polanski.

LAW ABIDING CITIZEN

LAW AIDING CITZEN STARRING GERARD BUTLER AND JAMIE FOXXI recently watched a film on my local cable company’s on demand service that is interesting in that it posits the aspect of what is a ‘law abiding citizen’?

The film stars Gerard Butler (“Lara Croft: Cradle of Life”, “Reign of Fire”, “Gamer” and “300”) as Clyde Shelton, a fringe worker for the CIA and whose wife and daughter are brutally murdered by two men. Enter Jamie Foxx (“The Kingdom”, “Miami Vice”, “Collateral” and “Ray”) as Nick Rice, at the beginning of the film and assistant district attorney for Philadelphia assigned to prosecute the killers of Shelton’s family. In the end, Nick is forced to take a plea on the case in which the actual killer walks on a lighter sentence as the other man involved in the Shelton case, is sent to Death Row. As the other man leaves for a five year prison sentence, Clyde watches as Rice is approached and it looks as if he’s in league with the real killer. Some years later Clyde puts together a plan to make all those who allowed the killer of his wife and daughter to get away with it. That plan Clyde puts into motion is as a law abiding citizen to make those pay who allowed the ‘deal’ with the devil as it were. The twist on this story is that Clyde only puts those in those positions of power in his line of fire. Everyone from Rice to the mayor (Viola Davis) are targets as far as Clyde Shelton is concerned due to their complicity in the system. Thus lays out the basic plot of the film. Shelton begins to get revenge on those he holds responsible for the miscarriage of justice that allowed the killer of his wife and child walk.

What does this have to do with the price of tea in the Polanski case? Plenty.

It seems as though it’s perfectly fine for those condemning Polanski and his decision to run back in 1978 to deride his decision, then to condemn the one responsible for that decision Polanski made. Polanski played by the rules as far as his case was concerned. As the Marina Zenovich documentary ROMAN POLANSKI: WANTED & DESIRES succinctly summed up, there were gross incidents of judicial misconduct on behalf of the presiding judge, Laurence J. Rittenband. Most of which the film documented, however, there is a greater picture here. While Roman Polanski submitted himself to every hoop Rittenband presented to Polanski to jump through, Rittenband himself remained above that law he swore to uphold.

Going back to that epiotme of uprightness, some of the posters on the many boards I’ve posted, perused or lurked on, have stated that the issue here isn’t what Rittenband did, but what Polanski did. Granted, had Polanski ‘kept it in his pants’, a valid argument at any time if indeed there was a rape for Polanski to have been guilty of, the ‘fruit of the poisonous tree’ was allowed to propigate by Rittenband’s actions, but Vannatter’s actions and by the system itself. One cannot expect to have the air of propriety without a system that cannot be used by those chosen to uphold that law, to then turn around and crap on it. What am I talking about? Simply this. Polanski complied with all that was asked of him. Now what was asked of him? Here is what he did:

  • When ordered to return from Germany after the Oktoberfest photo that was shown Rittenband by David Welles, Roman Polanski returned as he was required to do by law.
  • When ordered to Chino for the psychiatric report, a thing that was not required under the law at the time, Polanski reported.
  • When the psychiatric and probation reports were completed, there was no need to hold him any further and it was the probation officer who ordered him released as per the fact that no psyche report takes the full 90 days to complete.
  • When ordered into court, Polanski presented himself. On those off days when it was only pro forma details for the lawyers, he did not have to report…as per the law.
  • Even when he was ordered to report to read from Rittenband’s prepared script, Roman Polanski still reported.

Those are the facts. Now whether it was required of Polanski to submit himself to harm other than what was required under the statute and Rittenband’s continued illegal conduct, it wasn’t up to Polanski to do so. Rittenband was the one who was conducting his court in an illegal fashion. Now the next statement I’ll likely get is: “OKay, if Polanski was feeling he was being ill-treated, why didn’t he stay and fight it?” Legitimate question, certainly, but not the reality Polanski was living with. He’d submitted himself to all that Rittenband demanded, but Rittenband was still renegging on the plea deal. And for those who’d say that it doesn’t matter, a judge is allowed to reneg all he wants. I say, no a judge is not. If the deal hammered out by both sides and in this case, on behalf of the so-called ‘victim’ and her lawyer and her father, also a lawyer who was the one who came up with the deal to begin with, all Rittenband had to do was to sign off on it…unless he felt that there was some pressure put on the ‘victim’. In that case and only that case, is the judge allowed to question the deal. In this case, and this case alone, no one wanted jail or prison time for Polanski. No one. Not even Geimer or her mother or father. What did Rittenband consider this as well as the court ordered reports from the probation office as well as the psychiatric reports? He considered it a whitewash. A whitewash only because it didn’t comport with his belief of who he thought Polanski was. And that is not his right by law. He can think whatever he wants about Polanski’s conduct or his life, the point here is that it means nothing in terms of applying the law. And what Rittenband did was illegal.

Going back to that assumption that Polanski had to lay himself at the feet of the corrupt judge to accept his ‘punishment’, no noe has to submit themselves to something that is over and above what the statute itself states. Polanski took the only out he felt he could to escape Rittenband’s machinations, and that was to flee to France. And if Rittenband wanted to make sure Polanski didn’t have that ability to run, he should have confiscated Polanski’s passport, which Rittenband didn’t do. So is it Polanski’s fault that Ritteband failed to do so? No. Should Polanski have given that up when he returned from Germany? No. It wasn’t required by law for him to do so. So this returns me again to what Polanski did do in order to comply with what the court ordered. And what he did do was comply at all turns. The only time he didn’t was when he felt he was being treated unfairly. If he hadn’t run, which Rittenband wanted Polanski to self-deport himself anyway…something Rittenband had no legal right to demand, Polanski did what Rittenband wanted. He left the United States.

So now where onto the law abiding citizen part. LIke Clyde in the film, he did what was required of him by law to do. He believed that the law would do what it was designed to do and to punish those responsible for the deaths of his wife and child. Even if it meant that Nick would loose his case for whatever reason, at least according to Clyde, Nick would have tried. Which would have been all Clyde would have asked of Nick. To try. What does this have to do with Polanski? Simple. It could try to address this fairly and swiftly for all involved. But somehow like Judge Laurence Rittenband before him, Steve Cooley and Peter Espinoza feel that they don’t have to follow the law. They feel that it is their word and nothing more. I asked in a previous post, what is Steve Cooley afraid of. I’ll ask again, if there is nothing to hide, why continue to keep Roger Gunson’s deposition under seal? What is to be gained by it? Gunson gave this deposition to the Polanski side to help him nad them in understanding what actually happened with Rittenband, and this comported precisely with what Douglas Dalton has always contended. There’s no mystery here. And for Polanski to quit his fight from Switzerland with so much still in question as per the original procedings, then Swiss law would be in breach of its own Geneva Convention about turning prisoners over to a system that will not comport with that law.

Like Clyde Shelton, Roman Polanski expected to be treated like any other citzen of the United States. Be given equal treatment and not centred out for his celebrity, which despite what those anti-Polanskites seem to think, worked against him. It didn’t help him. It didn’t protect him. Rittenband on the other hand gained off of Polanski’s fame and then continued to treat him above and beyond what the law required. That is not prosecution, it is persecution. The fact that Rittenband didn’t pay for his treatment of Polanski is a shame. He should have been pulled from the bench and taken to task for his misconduct that went over the line of justice. And yeah, yeah, yeah…I’ve heard that one again about Polanski keeping it his pants. But he didn’t. In the end, he expected to be treated fairly and without prejudice. Despite what Polanski did or didn’t do, whether the said double anal rape occurred according to the evidence collected and tested…oh wait, failed to be tested, the facts still remain the Californai legal system still refuses to play by the rules. Not surprising since Steve Cooley hasn’t seen fit to prosecute those involved in decades old abuses by the California Archdiocese of the Catholic Church given they’re contributing to his run for Attorney General of the State of Californai. Not surprising at all.

Oh, I should also mention that just recently, The Governator Arnold Schwarzenegger has reduced civil servant’s paychecks to minimum wage. Considering California is facing a budget shortfall by winter, the fact that Cooley is wasting funds on this case to ‘get Polanski back’ is ridiculous. Espinoza, have the guts to sentence Polanski in absentia and have this over and done with. You’ll look like the bigger man for it. Instead, you just continue to look like the Rittenband abstructionist you are. Some legacy.

STEVE COOLEY: WHAT ARE YOU AFRAID OF?

DA opposes Polanski’s request for sealed testimony

1 hour, 52 minutes ago
By The Associated Press

LOS ANGELES, Calif. – Prosecutors are asking a Los Angeles judge to reject a request by Roman Polanski’s attorneys to unseal transcripts of closed-door testimony in the case.

Polanski’s attorneys want a judge to unseal testimony earlier this year by the original prosecutor handling the case, Roger Gunson. They say it will help their efforts to fight Polanksi’s extradition from Switzerland, where he remains on house arrest.

Prosecutors on Thursday argued in a court filing that Polanski’s motion should be rejected because he remains a fugitive.

A hearing on the issue has been scheduled for Monday afternoon.

Los Angeles prosecutors want the Oscar-winning director returned to face sentencing on a charge he had unlawful sexual intercourse with a 13-year-old girl in 1977.

Original Article

It seems Steve Cooley is doing everything he can to make sure Rittenband’s actions that caused Polanski to flee, never see the light of day. What I’d like to ask is: What exactly is Steve Cooley afraid of?

I’m not quite sure if it’s because he feels that without Polanski physically present, he’s not going to get…what, elected? Is he so insipid he must attach his name to Roman Polanski’s in order to get his 15 minutes? I truly do not understand this man. He claims to be for ‘law and order and the American Way’, but what exactly is he doing in prolonging this case? Does he think he’s going to get some kind of karmic cookie in the end?

This case has already gone on long enough. Thirty three years is enough. Roman Polanski has taken all he should be required to take at the hands of the California Legal System. It abused him at the time his wife, Sharon Tate and four others were murdered at his home in 1969, and it abused him again in 1977 with this case. Everyone else excepting Steve Cooley, Dave Walgren, Peter Espinoza and the ghost of Laurence J. Rittenband want this case over and done with. Roman Polanski wants to go home to France and be a father and a husband. Samantha Geimer wants this case over and done with so she can…do whatever it is she does…Douglas Dalton wants this case overwith so he can retire knowing he did what he did do and finally cleared Polanski’s name, Roger Gunson wants this case over and done with because he may be ill and wants to know justice was finally done. What is so wrong with that? All parties win. Steve Cooley seems to want to shoot himself in the foot while running with scissors. He’s a calamity. Someone who doesn’t know when they’re acting like a fool.

I’d like to know what is in that transcript Roger Gunson gave to Chad Hummel and Bart Dalton (Polanski’s attorneys) that is so incendiary that Cooley seems to think it cannot be opened? Cooley it seems is practicing his own version of the law. Is the defense not allowed to offer their evidence? Are they not allowed to defend their client and be certain that everything the can use, will be used without having to be hamstrung by a zealous prosecutor? It seems to me that Cooley has his foot caught in a trap and is trying to chew it off without the benefit of painkillers.

The only thing that I can think of that would make Cooley so desperate is that he thinks if Polanski is seen in the orange jumpsuit with the chains and the shackles, it won’t look good for the PR campaign he needs to keep positive for his upcoming election. “Wow, Mr. Cooley…wouldn’t that look neat seeing a 76 year-old man being brought to California on your watch in chains?” There is absolutely no reason to not allow the unsealing of Gunson’s statement. To have the appearance of transparency, allowing this to be opened would make Cooley look like he’s at least playing by the rules. To fight to keep it secret still, is only showing how Cooley not only doesn’t play fair, but that his continued persecution of Roman Polanski is nothing but a smokescreen for his other failings in not prosecuting those of the Archdiocese sex scandal currently plaguing California. Add to that, the class action lawsuit filed by his fellow DAs and ADAs who have charged Cooley with fraud and invasion of privacy. But hey, that’s just a minor point. Cooley has had not one, but several law suits filed against him. Roman Polanski has had one. Who is the dangerous one Mr. Cooley?