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A Polish court rejected on Friday a U.S. request to extradite Roman Polanski for charges stemming from having sexual intercourse with a 13-year-old girl in the 1970s.
The Oscar-winning director did not appear in court for the ruling due to “emotional reasons,” his lawyer Jan Olszewski told the judge.
The filmmaker was convicted in 1977 of five charges after admitting to having sex with a minor. He served 42 days in prison after cutting a 90-day plea deal then fled the U.S. ahead of sentencing in 1978. He’s been considered a U.S. fugitive ever since.
Polanski has dual citizenship in Poland, where he grew up, and France. French law prohibits extradition of its citizens, but Polish law doesn’t.
Swiss authorities also turned down a U.S. extradition warrant and freed him in 2010, after placing Polanski under house arrest for nine months. He was detained there after traveling to the Zurich Film Festival to accept a lifetime achievement award.
The verdict is subject to appeal within seven days.