Friday 20 October 2017

Polanski lawyers seek to end case

Roman Polanski's lawyers have said the director is facing mounting debts
Roman Polanski's lawyers have said the director is facing mounting debts

Roman Polanski's lawyers filed a last legal volley in a California appeals court, saying that the 33-year-old sex case and its lengthy delays were an assault on the state's judicial system.

The attorneys said in papers that the court should order an investigation of judicial misconduct in Polanski's original case and that the Oscar-winning filmmaker should not have to pay for it - an indication that he is running out of funds.

Polanski was arrested six months ago on a fugitive warrant from Los Angeles and is under house arrest in Switzerland.

The 76-year-old has mounting debts and no way to earn a living while in custody, his attorneys said.

The defence made their latest plea in response to arguments from prosecutors who say Polanski must return from Europe to face sentencing.

The defence argued that the director should be sentenced in absentia to time served. The papers were filed in the California 2nd District Court of Appeal.

"It is unjust for a defendant's constitutional rights to be held hostage to the district attorney's office's outright refusal to investigate the misconduct in which it was involved," said the defence brief.

Most of the 24-page filing was a recitation of facts that have been raised repeatedly by the defence since they first went to court seeking Polanski's freedom. They contend the now deceased judge committed misconduct in the case.

Polanski, the director The Pianist and Chinatown, fled the US in 1978 after pleading guilty to unlawful sexual intercourse with a 13-year-old girl.

He had served part of a 90-day period in prison ordered by the judge for a "diagnostic study".

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