Polish court to consider U.S. request to extradite Polanski

Oscar-winning film director Roman Polanski has faced U.S. attempts to extradite him in a decades-old case.

Story highlights

  • Roman Polanski fled the U.S. in 1970s after pleading guilty to having sex with a 13-year-old
  • U.S. has repeatedly tried to have him extradited
  • Woman publicly forgave Polanski in 1997 and has called for the case to be dismissed

(CNN)A Polish prosecutor on Tuesday asked a regional court in Krakow to consider whether to extradite famed film director Roman Polanski to the United States, where he is wanted for having sex with a minor in the 1970s.

"Further procedures in this case will be made by the court in Krakow," the regional prosecutor's office in Krakow said in a statement Tuesday.
Mateusz Martyniuk, a spokesman for the prosecutor, said the court could take several weeks to reach a decision.
    U.S. officials have repeatedly tried to bring Polanski back to the United States to face sentencing in the decades-old case. Polanski pleaded guilty in 1977 in California to having unlawful sex with Samantha Geimer, who was 13. Polanski was 43 at the time.
    He fled to Europe before he was sentenced. Geimer publicly forgave Polanski in 1997 and has called for the case to be dismissed.
    The director of "The Pianist" has both French and Polish citizenship, and he has said he intends to film a movie in Poland, his parents' homeland, this spring.
    Tuesday's move by the Krakow prosecutor comes three months after Polish authorities, having received a request from U.S. officials to arrest Polanski, questioned the director but allowed him to leave after the interview. At the time, a spokesman for the Polish prosecutor general's office said that authorities there didn't believe it was necessary to hold him while the United States sought to extradite him.
    U.S. attempts to extradite Polanski led to his arrest in Switzerland in 2009. But the Swiss ultimately rejected the American extradition request in 2010.
    Switzerland let him go because the United States did not supply all the legal records Switzerland requested, and because Polanski had a reasonable right to think he would not be arrested if he visited the country, Justice Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf said at the time.
    Besides an Oscar win for "The Pianist," Polanski also received Academy Award nominations for "Tess" and "Chinatown."