Could Polanski Case Finally Come to an End?
That seems to be Alan Dershowitz's goal
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 16, 2014 9:29 AM CST
Director Roman Polanski, center, walks on stage at the end of the premiere of "The Fearless Vampire Killers" Thursday Oct. 16, 2014, in Paris.   (AP Photo/Jacques Brinon)

(Newser) – More than 35 years later, Alan Dershowitz is trying to bring the case against Roman Polanski, who fled the US before being sentenced on a statutory rape charge in 1978, to an end. The lawyer has filed new paperwork in a California court calling for a hearing that could close the case for good. His two reasons for justifying a hearing: He accuses prosecutors of providing false information when they recently attempted to have the director extradited from Poland (the extradition request called Polanski a "continuing flight risk" even though he had appeared for questioning in Poland voluntarily, among other things), and he says that new testimony reveals a Superior Court judge in 2009 "unethically prejudged issues" surrounding the Polanski prosecution that had not yet been argued in court, the New York Times reports.

That judge oversaw the legal fight that started in 2008 after documentary Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired was released, and the new testimony comes from a former public information officer of the court, who says the judge was willing to ultimately limit Polanski's sentence to time served should he actually return to the US, but that he planned to let him "cool his heels in jail" first by delaying his ruling for weeks. Polanski's lawyers are arguing that, as the now-81-year-old director spent 42 days in prison for psychiatric evaluation under a plea deal back when the case started, and only fled when he discovered the judge planned to give him more jail time despite an off-the-record agreement not to do so, he has actually already served his sentence in full. In the new filing, his legal team also says the recent extradition request failed to mention that he had already served the court-ordered prison time, the Los Angeles Times reports.
 

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