US Officials Have Tried To Arrest Roman Polanski Around The World Since 1978

From Times Online September 29, 2009 David Charter, Zurich

(ittorio Zunino Celotto/Getty Images)

Details of attempts to arrest Roman Polanski half a dozen times around the world since 1978 have emerged today as his lawyers filed a request for his immediate release on bail from a Swiss cell.

Authorities in Britain, Canada, France, Israel and Thailand had been asked to detain the film-maker over the years before he was held at Zurich airport on Saturday, the Los Angeles District Attorney's office said.

The release of a list of extradition attempts came in response to claims that the LA authorities had not bothered to pursue Mr Polanski after he fled the US in 1978 to escape sentencing for having unlawful sexual intercourse with an under-age girl.

Mr Polanski is said to have felt no qualms about visiting Zurich Film Festival to pick up a lifetime achievement award, partly because his lawyers believed that he was no longer actively being sought.

The LA District Attorney appears keen, however, to show that Mr Polanski's arrest was never put on the back-burner, despite an announcement from his victim that she did not believe he should be punished further for having sex with her when she was 13.

Mr Polanski's arrest on the three-decade-old affair continues to cause uproar in the film world.

Leading film directors including Woody Allen, David Lynch, Martin Scorsese and Pedro Almodovar signed a petition protesting against his detention, the French film industry association SACD said today.
The petition has so far been signed by 110 top industry figures, also including Michael Mann, Wim Wenders, Darren Aronofsky, Terry Gilliam, the Dardenne brothers, Jonathan Demme and the actresses Tilda Swinton, Monica Bellucci and Asia Argento.

"We demand the immediate release of Roman Polanski," it says.
"Film-makers in France, in Europe, in the United States and around the world are dismayed by this decision."

A SACD spokesman added: "It seems inadmissible to them that an international cultural event, paying homage to one of the greatest contemporary film-makers, is used by police to apprehend him."

The 76-year-old director's French lawyer in Paris said that he would seek bail. "We are asking that he be released, if necessary with conditions attached," said Herve Temime.

The Federal Criminal Tribunal said that a decision on the complaint would be delivered in the coming weeks.

"The second court of complaints of the Federal Criminal Tribunal confirms that it has received today a complaint by Roman Polanski against the arrest warrant for extradition," said the Swiss tribunal in a statement.

Tracking Polanski
The chronology released overnight in Los Angeles, the authorities detailed a range of extradition moves.
February 1978: the Extradition Services Section opened a file after confirming that Mr Polanski was living in France.
May 1978: a formal extradition package was submitted when it was learnt Polanski may be in England.
December 1986: consultations held with Royal Canadian Mounted Police after being informed the Mr Polanski may be visiting Canada.
May 1988: verified that the arrest warrant was still active after receiving notice Polanski may travel to Germany, Denmark, Sweden or Brazil.


Pristash said…
Debra has weighed in ... defending Roman and speaking about Sadie too. Fodder enough for sure for all you Debra haters out there.

Debra starts about 3:25 in...
CarolMR said…
It's about time he faced the music. I have no sympathy for him.

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