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Roman Polanski a “free man,” will not be extradited by Swiss officials

By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: After months of house arrest at his Gstaad chalet, Roman Polanski is a free man.

Swiss officials announced this morning that they do not plan to extradite the director to the U.S. so he can face decades-old charges that he had sex with a minor.

“He’s a free man,” Justice Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf said this morning during a press conference.

Polanski notoriously fled the U.S. after being charged in 1977. According to the NY Times, Polanski “fled on the eve of sentencing in California because of fear that the presiding intended to renege what his defense lawyers said was a deal to avoid a prison sentence.”

A spokeswoman for the United States Justice Department declined to comment Monday.

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About Sean O'Connell

Sean O'Connell is a nationally recognized film critic. His reviews have been published in print ('The Washington Post,' 'USA Today') and online (AMC FilmCritic.com, MSN's Citysearch) since 1996. He's a weekly contributor to several national radio programs. He is a longstanding member of the Broadcast Film Critics Association (BFCA), the Online Film Critics Society (OFCS), and the Southeastern Film Critics View all articles by Sean O'Connell Association (SEFCA).

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One Comment

  • July 12, 2010 | Permalink |

    This is very disappointing to hear. Time does not make a crime disappear! And I don’t even care if the victim doesn’t want him prosecuted now. It’s not about her, it’s about the sovereignty of our justice system; it is disgusting that a celebrity can get of the hook for a crime like this, no matter how long ago it occurred. Justice should know no time limits!

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