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View Full Version : Switzerland Won't Extradite Polanski to the US



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Jackie Sparrow
07-13-2010, 03:38 PM
No, because the charges were brought in the applicable time limit. Fleeing the jurisdiction before sentencing would toll any statute of limiitations.

Yes, of course, thanks for pointing that out.

Squibble
07-13-2010, 04:11 PM
Now imagine what would have happened to him had he been a regular joe--would France have been that eager to defend him and blow off his crime had he been a plumber from Ohio?

No, but they wouldn't have done it if he'd been a film director from Ohio either. The only reason why Polanski was able to stay in France was that he was a French citizen.


the ball, however, I cannot fathom the support he gets from certain corners, esepcially when you know if it had happened now or with someone less famous, those same corners would be screaming for blood.

The original judge in the case and the prosecution over the past 36 years have handled the case in such a way as to make Polanski perceived (rightly or wrongly) as the victim of human rights abuses. It's this Polanski, not the Polanski the criminal that draws such support.


In other words, Switzerland decided that they were better able to interpret California law than the California courts and US Attorney General's office. The original judge in the case rightly surmised that a 54 day psychiatric evaluation was not adequate punishment for the crime committed and wanted Polanski to serve a longer sentence, perhaps based on the report provided from the evaluation period. It was the judges discretion to do so regardless of what the Prosecutor may or may not have promised. If Polanski had stuck around he'd have had grounds for appeal. He chose to flee. Regardless of whatever prosecutorial conduct there may have been, justice was not served in this case and I can't believe there are people who would defend him. Have any of you read the testimony?

No, and neither have you. It's sealed. You don't know what's in the transcript or what the judge surmised. However, Polanski's attorneys presumably attended the hearing (which was earlier this year (http://www.accesshollywood.com/da-opposes-polanskis-request-for-sealed-testimony_article_32028)) and are under a legal duty not to misrepresent pertinent facts to any tribunal.

And there are more problems with the way the case has been handled. The judge may have improperly discussed sentencing with a prosecutor who was not on the case:http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5jo3NMirGcL5AMDAh0HOwob-91XDwD9GU16CO0

Finally, it's not as if Switzerland is trying to interpret or apply California law. It is trying to interpret and apply its own law, which includes international human rights law. To argue otherwise is to engage in rhetoric without substance.

uyeahu
07-13-2010, 04:29 PM
They had 10 months to provide the Swiss authorities with all the necessary documents but they didn't. Why not?

Perhaps, as was implied in the article quoted, the Swiss had no legal right to the sealed documents.

Squibble
07-13-2010, 04:44 PM
Perhaps, as was implied in the article quoted, the Swiss had no legal right to the sealed documents.

No, the article does not imply that. It says the transcripts could be used if the witness was unavailable for an evidentiary hearing. The witness (a former prosecutor) cannot be compelled to travel to Switzerland to testify in an evidentiary hearing there and is therefore "unavailable."

uyeahu
07-13-2010, 05:01 PM
The witness (a former prosecutor) cannot be compelled to travel to Switzerland to testify in an evidentiary hearing there and is therefore "unavailable."

Do you have a source confirming that's the case? A link perhaps?

Polymer Bob
07-13-2010, 05:10 PM
It says the transcripts could be used if the witness was unavailable for an evidentiary hearing. The witness (a former prosecutor) cannot be compelled to travel to Switzerland to testify in an evidentiary hearing there and is therefore "unavailable."

The witness cannot be compelled, but he may decide to go of his own free will. Maybe that will satisfy the Swiss.

Jimena
07-13-2010, 05:32 PM
Do you have a source confirming that's the case? A link perhaps?

Isn't it part of basic evidentiary law- one of those times when hearsay is admissible?

*Jen*
07-13-2010, 05:36 PM
In other words, Switzerland decided that they were better able to interpret California law than the California courts and US Attorney General's office.

Those other words are yours, based on your perception. From what I am reading, they are admitting there is a loophole in the law. They say there is a quirk. One argument could be that Switzerland exploited it, another could be why the hell is there such a loophole - why hasn't it been closed? The Swiss do things properly. I lived there for a year and it prides itself on its administrative efficiency. Why should they be forced to close California's loophole for them?


I think it raises a red flag, and that's why Switzerland wanted the US to cross all its Ts and dot all its Is, which the US failed to do.

ETA If blame the US more than Switzerland. I don't care what CA says. If the US really wanted to get Polanski here, someone would've gotten those documents unsealed for the Swiss. They were more than willing to cooperate.

ITA. They could have unsealed the documents if they wanted, by closing the loophole or overruling the law. They didn't.

Adding the 10 months in detention in Switzerland to his sentence, Polanski has at least served more than 54 days. I wish it were more, but law is so much more than an act of arbitrary power. The rules HAVE to be followed. If not, you end up with mass injustice. And if your rules suck, like the Cali rules seem to here, then you should change them.

NB - By you, I mean the neutral third person, not anyone in particular.

heckles
07-13-2010, 05:56 PM
Adding the 10 months in detention in Switzerland to his sentence, Polanski has at least served more than 54 days.

Where do I sign up to be sentenced to 10 months "detention" in a luxury mountain chalet in Switzerland?

Coco
07-13-2010, 05:59 PM
Uh, wasn't the vast majority of the 10 months spent under house arrest at his Swiss Chalet?

It's his choice to evade the legal process in LA, so any detention/loss of freedom he suffers for that evasion is his responsibility, imo.

Did the Swiss ask that LA prosecutor to come to Switzerland for a hearing and he resfused? Seriously? Because if not, he was available and the documents couldn't be unsealed.

I wouldn't rely on attorneys from either side for an accurate representation of what those documents say. There is a lot of leeway for argument and perception before a lawyer can be rightfully accused of misrepresenting facts.

uyeahu
07-13-2010, 06:05 PM
ITA. They could have unsealed the documents if they wanted, by closing the loophole or overruling the law. They didn't.

You don't know that. Documents are often sealed for the protection of witnesses and the state cannot just decide to unseal them at whim.

Ziggy
07-13-2010, 06:22 PM
Where do I sign up to be sentenced to 10 months "detention" in a luxury mountain chalet in Switzerland?

I think that house detention should be used way more liberally than it is at present.

Obviously not in serious criminal cases, it's just a throwaway observation.

uyeahu
07-13-2010, 06:31 PM
According to the Wall Street Journal (http://blogs.wsj.com/law/2010/07/13/polanski-decision-irks-us-law-enforcement/) they tried to have the documents unsealed and were unable.


In a statement, the Swiss Justice Ministry said it had asked for records of closed-door 1977 court hearings to determine whether Polanski had effectively served his full sentence, but a Los Angeles Superior Court judge decided in May that the records had to remain secret, according to WSJ. As a result, the Swiss said, they couldn’t determine whether Polanski had already served his full term. So, “the proceedings on which the U.S. extradition request is founded…would have no foundation,” said the Swiss Justice Ministry.

So this was not a matter of they could have done it if they really wanted to. And the Swiss decided to take the word of Polanski and his attorney over that of the California and US Attorney General's that he has not served his term.

Tesla
07-13-2010, 06:43 PM
But why should the Swiss take the word of the other side? At least with the documents, they have actual written proof.

ETA Reverse the countries, I doubt the US would extradite without documentation.

uyeahu
07-13-2010, 06:49 PM
But why should the Swiss take the word of the other side? At least with the documents, they have actual written proof.

ETA Reverse the countries, I doubt the US would extradite without documentation.

Yes, it's far better to take the word of a confessed rapist and serial pedophile, by all means. I'm sure the Swiss received PLENTY of documentation from the US, they just didn't get the one SEALED document they'd requested and they used that as an excuse to deny extradition and release him.