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The Swiss Justice Ministry statement makes it clear that the extradition proceedings will be put on hold until there’s a ruling from the California District Appeals Court.
Professor Jean Rosenbluth is from the University of Southern California law school.
ROSENBLUTH: “I get the impression, and I think that Switzerland has come out and said that they are kind of just sitting back and waiting and hoping that things sort themselves out here in the United States and that will take the burden off of them.”
Prosecutors argue under sentencing is impossible without Polanski being there in court.
But on Friday the Appeals Court judges ordered that transcripts from new testimony from the original prosecutor in the 1978 case, Roger Gunson, be given to them.
New York Times’s Hollywood Correspondent Michael Ciepley has been following the Polanski story for 23 years.
CIEPLEY: “Gunson believed all the way back in 1970s that the original judge, Judge Rittenband, should be removed because he could not judge the
case fairly and he’d actually gone so far as to move as the Prosecutor in the case, to draft a resolution to have the judge removed and was ordered by his bosses not to file it.”
Remember, Polanski fled the country after he believed the judge was going back on a plea agreement and Polanski’s legal team says that was due to improper influences on the judge.
Professor Jean Rosenbluth says the new information may have a bearing on the Appeal Court case.
ROSENBLUTH: “If the Court of Appeal does step in and makes a ruling as to these allegations of misconduct, that might resolve what goes on with the extradition.”
NY Times correspondent Michael Ciepley says his hunch is that rather than keep the case in perpetual limbo between Switzerland and California, the Appeals Court is ready to act:
CIEPLEY: “I believe that the Appeal’s Court here in California is searching for a way to cut through this and resolve it.”
And Professor Rosenbluth says given the age and complexity of this case, Polanksi could end up receiving a lenient treatment, in line with the original plea bargain.
ROSENBLUTH: “You have events that occurred thirty years ago and then you’ve got the fact that the victim in this case doesn’t want to cooperate with the prosecution. So it’s a very difficult case to imagine circumstances under which Mr. Polanski is going to face anything beyond what it appears was originally agreed to.”
—Daniel Ryntjes for World Radio Switzerland in Washington