Judge blocks Polanski case transcript bid

May 11, 2010 at 12:10 AM
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LOS ANGELES, May 11 (UPI) -- A Los Angeles judge has denied filmmaker Roman Polanski's bid to have transcripts from his child-sex case unsealed, court officials said.

The Los Angeles Times reported Polanski's legal team petitioned for access to documents containing the recent testimony of the now-retired prosecutor originally involved in his 1977 case.

The director's lawyers reportedly argued the papers are necessary for Polanski's extradition proceedings because they suggest Los Angeles prosecutors gave Swiss authorities false and incomplete information in their request to have him extradited.

However, the Times said Superior Court Judge Peter Espinoza denied Polanski's bid Monday because the sealed testimony is intended only to be used if former Deputy Distrist Attorney Roger Gunson is unable to attend a hearing in the case should Polanski return to Los Angeles to be sentenced.

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.

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