Poland's top court examines fresh bid to extradite Roman Polanski to US

Poland's top court examines fresh bid to extradite Roman Polanski to US

Poland's Supreme Court begins examining a fresh bid to extradite Oscar-winning film director Roman Polanski to the United States - where he is accused having sex with a minor nearly 40 years ago.

A Polish court rejected the US request last year.

But Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro revived the case in May - just months after the conservative government took office.

The director pleaded guilty in 1977 to one count of unlawful sexual intercourse with a 13-year-old girl during a photo shoot in Los Angeles. In a deal with the judge, he served 42 days in prison, but then fled the US.

The US has been seeking to bring Polanski back and put him before a court.

Last year, the Krakow judge ruling on the case found that Polanski served his punishment in confinement in the US, and later for 10 months - partly under house arrest - in Switzerland in 2009-2010 when the US unsuccessfully sought his extradition there.

He argued that US judges and prosecutors in the case violated legal procedures, broke the plea bargain in 1977, denied Polanski the right to proper defence and appeared biased.

At that time, the victim in the rape case Samantha Geimer, now 52, said in an interview with NBC News that the Polish courts did “the right thing” in refusing to extradite.

She said: “I believe they did the right thing and made the right decision given all the facts ... Since I’m well aware of how long this has been going on, I’m very pleased and happy.”

Now, Ziobro argues that Polanski's celebrity status was the only thing shielding the 83-year-old from being extradited.

Polanski grew up in Poland, but he now has homes in France and Switzerland. The case has made him cancel plans to film in Poland.

The court was expected Tuesday to either overturn or confirm the extradition refusal or to return the case to a lower court.

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