Poland’s Supreme Court upheld Tuesday the decision of a lower court in the country to refuse to extradite filmmaker Roman Polanski to the United States, where he is wanted for sentencing in a rape case. Polanski, 83, lives in France and has a home in Switzerland, but grew up in Poland, a country he often visits.
An Academy Award-winning filmmaker, Polanski admitted to raping a 13-year-old girl in 1977 and pleaded guilty to multiple charges including unlawful sex with a minor during a photo shoot in Los Angeles.
He served 42 days in prison in accordance with a deal with the judge but fled the country over fears he would be imprisoned again for longer.
The U.S. made a request for his arrest when Polanski visited Warsaw for the opening of a museum in October 2014 and officially asked for his extradition in January 2015.
oland’s Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro requested the Supreme Court to overturn the extradition refusal by a lower court, a move that led to Polanski cancelling his plan to make a film in the country. Ziobro argued the filmmaker should not be shielded for his celebrity status and deserved punishment in accordance with law.
However, the three-judge panel rejected the minister’s request and upheld the decision taken by the lower court — on grounds that Polanski had already served a prison term and may not get a fair trial in the U.S. — closing the case, the Associated Press reported.
Polanski has directed a number of box office successes like “Rosemary’s Baby,” “Chinatown” and “The Pianist” and has also been the subject of “The Girl: A Life in the Shadow of Roman Polanski,” a memoir penned by Samantha Geimer, the woman Polanski raped, who is now in her 50s.
Polanski has French and Polish citizenship. While Swiss authorities placed Polanski under house arrest for nine months, the country turned down a U.S. extradition warrant in 2010. Extradition from France, on the other hand, is a complex process, BBC reported.