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

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  • Polish film director Roman Polanski and American actress Sharon Tate (1943 - 1969) at their wedding. She was subsequently murdered by members of Charles Manson's pseudo-religious sect The Family. (Photo by Evening Standard/Getty Images)
  • American film actress Sharon Tate (1943 - 1969) (right) with Polish film director Roman Polanski, after their wedding in London. (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)
  • American film actress Sharon Tate (1943 - 1969) at her London wedding with Polish actor and director Roman Polanski. Sharon was murdered by followers of Charles Manson, when heavily pregnant with Roman's baby. Original Publication: People Disc - HP0302 (Photo by Keystone/Getty Images)
  • January 1967: Polish filmmaker and actor Roman Polanski with his second wife-to-be Sharon Tate (1943 - 1969) at London Airport. (Photo by Evening Standard/Getty Images)
  • 20th January 1968: The wedding of Polish film director Roman Polanski and actress Sharon Tate (1943 - 1969) (right) at Chelsea Registry Office, London. She was subsequently murdered by members of Charles Manson's pseudo-religious sect The Family. (Photo by Reg Burkett/Express/Getty Images)
  • 24th January 1969: Polish film director Roman Polanski arriving at the premiere of his film 'Rosemary's Baby' with his second wife American film actress Sharon Tate (1943 - 1969). (Photo by William Milsom/Evening Standard/Getty Images)
  • November 1970: Polish director Roman Polanski shooting a film version of Shakespeare's 'Macbeth' on location in Northumberland. (Photo by Ian Tyas/Keystone Features/Getty Images)
  • Film director Roman Polanski arrives at the Montreux Jazz Festival on July 17, 2010 in Montreux. Polanski, freed this week after Switzerland refused a US extradition request, said today he felt warm affection for the country despite his arrest last year. The 76-year-old director, who will make his first public appearance since his release to see his wife Emmanuelle Seigner perform at the Montreaux Jazz Festival today, made his remarks in an interview with Swiss television to be broadcast Saturday night. AFP PHOTO/STR (Photo credit should read STR/AFP/Getty Images)
  • Film director Roman Polanski attends the 2011 Scopus Award gala at the Champs-Elysees Theatre on January 23, 2011 in Paris. French and Armenian-born singer Charles Aznavour won the Prize and all the profits of the evening will finance the "Edmond and Lily Safra" research laboratory in Jerusalem, dedicated to Parkinson disease. AFP PHOTO MIGUEL MEDINA (Photo credit should read MIGUEL MEDINA/AFP/Getty Images)

KRAKOW, POLAND — 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.”

Polanski married to actress Sharon Tate in 1968.   Tate, along with four friends,  was murdered by followers of Charles Manson in 1969.   She was 8-and-a-half months pregnant with her first child with Polanski at the time of her death.

 

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