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Polanski IV: This Time It's the Appeal

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By Tanya Roth, Esq. on April 01, 2010 12:45 PM

And ... we're back. M. Roman Polanski, or at least his counsel, is back in the legal headlines for another episode of his 30 years and counting battle with the justice system. This time, it is the Los Angeles prosecutors' turn in the spotlight as late on March 30 they filed their reply to papers from Polanski's attorneys. At issue for this moment, is whether the Los Angeles appeals court should sentence Polanski while he remains in Switzerland.

Perhaps you have been following the Polanski case since his arrest in Switzerland on this blog, or any other news outlet on this, or any other planet. If so, you may already know that earlier in March, Polanski's attorneys filed a motion with the court to review Superior Court Judge Peter Espinoza's ruling that the director may not be sentenced in absentia while he remains under "chalet arrest" in Switzerland.

According to a Reuters report, in the appeal, defense attorneys have argued that the extensively chronicled misconduct by the judge and prosecutor in Polanski's original trial for unlawful sex with a minor was hidden from defense attorneys for years. Prosecutors claim in their filings that what they actually knew about, they disclosed. To put a fine point on it, the prosecution wrote, "The specter of a defendant sitting in a Swiss chalet while making demands upon the judicial system hurts the integrity of the judicial system just as much as the revelations of 30 year-old charges of misconduct by a long ago deceased jurist."

Swiss officials, with their usual bravado, are awaiting the outcome of the U.S. legal wrangling regarding sentencing before they make a decision on whether or not to extradite their house-bound prisoner. As a sidebar, chalet and ankle-device notwithstanding, Polanski is still taking care of business. His latest film, The Ghost Writer, was released in February, 2010.

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