Polanski asks judge for sentencing
Fugitive film director Roman Polanski has asked a judge to sentence him in his absence over a child sex case, a Los Angeles court has heard.
A letter signed by Polanski, on December 26 from Gstaad, Switzerland, where he is under house arrest, was filed by his lawyer.
It said Polanski, 76, understood he had the right to be present at all legal proceedings, but "I request that judgment be pronounced against me in my absence".
Deputy district attorney David Walgren objected to Polanski's request and demanded he "show his face" in court before he was sentenced
"The people are adamant that a fugitive not dictate the court's processes," Mr Walgren told superior court judge Peter Espinoza.
The Chinatown director fled the US in 1978 on the eve of sentencing after pleading guilty to one count of having sex with a 13-year-old girl.
Judge Espinoza accepted the letter but postponed a ruling because he wanted to see legal briefs that stated why sentencing Polanski in absentia was appropriate.
"It seems to me there is a fairly big question about what his possible sentence could be," the judge said, setting a January 22 date for a hearing on the issue.
Polanski is fighting extradition in Switzerland, a nation that will not extradite someone who is not required to serve at least six months in prison.
Prosecutors said Polanski was subject to a sentence of two years, but the defence said he had already served a sentence handed down by the original judge in the case, plus five months spent in a Swiss jail and more recently under house arrest.