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Polanski wants to stay away from sex hearing

Fugitive film director Roman Polanski has asked a judge to sentence him in his absence over a child sex case.

A letter signed by Polanski (below) on December 26 from Gstaad, Switzerland -- where he is under house arrest -- was filed by his lawyer to a Los Angeles court.

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 the girl (13).

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 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.