Polanski slams U.S. extradition bid

May 3, 2010 at 10:21 AM
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LOS ANGELES, May 3 (UPI) -- Film director Roman Polanski, who is under house arrest in Switzerland, says the United States wants to extradite him to "serve me on a platter to the media."

The 76-year-old Oscar winner has been under house arrest since December 2009 while he awaits a decision regarding whether he will be extradited to the United States in the decades-old case in which he was accused of drugging and raping a 13-year-old girl. He was held in a Swiss jail for nearly two months before he posted bail and was placed under house arrest.

The filmmaker, who had been living in France but was in Switzerland to attend a film festival at the time of his arrest last year, has not traveled to the United States since he pleaded guilty in Los Angeles to having unlawful sex with a minor. He fled the United States before he could be sentenced.

Polanski's lawyers have alleged misconduct on the part of the Los Angeles criminal justice system at the time of the plea deal and are fighting extradition from Switzerland to the United States.

Polanski spoke about the situation during the weekend for the first time since his arrest last year.

"I can no longer remain silent because the United States continues to demand my extradition more to serve me on a platter to the media of the world than to pronounce a judgment concerning which an agreement was reached 33 years ago," E! News quoted Polanski as saying in a statement.

"I have had my share of dramas and joys, as we all have, and I am not going to try to ask you to pity my lot in life. I ask only to be treated fairly like anyone else," he continued. "It is true: 33 years ago I pleaded guilty, and I served time at the prison for common law crimes at Chino, not in a VIP prison. That period was to have covered the totality of my sentence. By the time I left prison, the judge had changed his mind and claimed that the time served at Chino did not fulfill the entire sentence, and it is this reversal that justified my leaving the United States."

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