Polanski Will Not Be Extradited, Swiss Authorities Say
[Updated at 12:30 p.m. with reaction from District Attorney Steve Cooley, after the jump].
Swiss authorities on Monday announced they will not extradite director Roman Polanski to the United States to face sentencing in Los Angeles for a 33-year-old sex-with-a-minor conviction, essentially bringing the saga to an end.
[CORRECTION]: Friend of Polanski Bernard-Henri Levy stated via his website,
On friend Bernard-Henri Levy's website, the 76-year-old stated, "Relief. Happiness. The Swiss court has found the way of common sense.''
District Attorney Steve Cooley told the Los Angeles Times he is "genuinely surprised and disappointed" by the decision. "Mr. Polanski is still convicted of serious child sex charges," he said.
The Swiss Federal Department of Justice and Police announced that it will not grant the Los Angeles District Attorney's office's request for extradition because transcripts of former prosecutor Roger Gunson's testimony was not forwarded to Swiss authorities.
The sealed testimony purportedly confirmed that prosecutors and the original judge in the case made a deal with Polanski by which 42 days he had already served in the case would comprise his total sentence. In 1978, after learning that he might be sentenced to additional time in the case, in which he had sex with a 13-year-old, Polanski fled to France.
Last summer authorities, at the behest of the L.A. D.A.'s office, nabbed Polanski as he traveled to Switzerland to accept an award. He was being held under house arrest at his Swiss chalet.
"The 76-year-old French-Polish film director Roman Polanski will not be extradited to the USA,'' Swiss authorities stated. "The freedom-restricting measures against him have been revoked.''
-With reporting from City News Service. Got news? Email us.