U.S. requests Polanski extradition

Oct. 23, 2009 at 5:01 PM
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ZURICH, Switzerland, Oct. 23 (UPI) -- The U.S. Embassy in Bern has formally requested jailed filmmaker Roman Polanski's extradition so he can be sentenced in a 1977 sex case, officials said.

The New York Times said the paperwork was filed with the Federal Office of Justice in Switzerland late Thursday. The documents are expected to be forwarded to the Canton of Zurich, which will then hold a hearing on the matter, the newspaper reported.

Polanski, 76, was arrested Sept. 26 in Zurich in a child-sex case in Los Angeles.

The famous filmmaker, who lives in France but was in Switzerland to attend a film festival, has not traveled to the United States since he pleaded guilty in a Los Angeles court to having unlawful sex with a minor and then fled the country before he could be sentenced. He was accused of drugging and raping Samantha Geimer when she was 13.

Polanski's lawyers have alleged misconduct on the part of the Los Angeles criminal justice system at the time of the plea deal. They have said they plan to fight extradition from Switzerland to the United States.

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