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News

LA County DA Pressing for Polanski's Extradition to the US

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Director Roman Polanski remains confined in a Swiss prison following his arrest this weekend while traveling to Zurich to receive a prestigious award for his film career. The 76-year-old Polish-born French citizen has been in exile in Europe since fleeing Los Angeles following his conviction in the rape case that found him guilty of engaging in sex with a 13-year-old girl.

The next step for Polanski may be extradition to the US, which is what Los Angeles district attorney's office is pushing for, despite protest from both French and Polish officials, according to LA Now. Many of Polanski's colleagues, friends, and allies are outraged by his arrest, and believe it is being handled with a media-savvy sensationalist bent.

"The U.S. Justice Department has 60 days to file a written request for Polanski's transfer to Los Angeles. If Polanski opposes extradition, the Swiss legal process can be lengthy because multiple levels of appeals are available," a Swiss official explains. Polanski has indicated through representatives that he intends to fight the extradition; a warrant for his arrest has been outstanding in Los Angeles since 1978, when the director of iconic films such as Chinatown and Rosemary's Baby fled the country rather than accept his sentence in a LA County court.