A California appeals court has rejected a bid by Franco-Polish director Roman Polanski to have his 1977 child sex case dismissed. The Oscar-winning film-maker is fighting extradition from Switzerland to the US.
AFP - A California appeals court Monday rejected a bid by Roman Polanski to have his child sex case dismissed but demanded an "urgent" probe into the filmmaker's allegations of judicial misconduct.
Lawyers for Oscar-winner Polanski earlier this month urged California's Court of Appeal to quash the decades-old case, citing alleged misconduct by the trial judge who presided over the initial proceedings.
Polanski, who is under house arrest in Switzerland and faces extradition to the United States, fled the United States in 1978 on the eve of his sentencing for a guilty plea of having unlawful sex with a 13-year-old girl.
Polanski lawyers have been fighting to have the case dismissed, saying the trial judge who had been due to sentence the director had planned to go back on a previously agreed plea deal after improperly colluding with prosecutors.
However in a written judgement released Monday, California's 2nd District Court of Appeal ruled that a lower court had not erred when it had denied an earlier bid by Polanski's lawyers to have the case dismissed.
But the judgement called for an "urgent exploration" of the misconduct abuses alleged by Polanski's legal team.
"Although there is no basis for extraordinary relief here... we remain deeply concerned that these allegations of misconduct have not been addressed by a court equipped to take evidence and make factual determinations as to the events in 1977 and 1978," the judgment read.
"Polanski's allegations urgently require full exploration and then, if indicated, curative action for the abuses alleged here.
"We exhort all participants in this extended drama to place the integrity of the criminal justice system above the desire to punish any one individual, whether for his offense or for his flight."
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Date created : 2009-12-21