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Roman Polanski questioned by prosecutors in Poland

© Valery Hache, AFP | Film director Roman Polanski at the Cannes Film Festival on May 17

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2014-10-31

Film director Roman Polanski was allowed to walk free this week after being questioned by Polish prosecutors at the request of the United States, which is seeking his extradition over a 1977 conviction of unlawful intercourse with a minor.

The Polish-born director of "The Pianist" and "Chinatown" has been sought by US authorities ever since 1978, when he fled the country for France before he could be sentenced for unlawful sex with a 13-year-old girl, a plea deal that had been reduced from six felony counts, including rape and sodomy.

Mateusz Martyniuk, a spokesman for the Polish justice ministry, said the US requested Polanski’s arrest and Polish prosecutors were expecting an extradition request to follow.

"Roman Polanski said he would comply with all requests made by prosecutors in this case and provided his address," Martyniuk told AFP on Thursday.

Earlier, Deputy Foreign Minister Rafal Trzaskowski hinted that Poland would not be willing to act on a US extradition request, if one were made. Martyiniuk appeared to contradict this, saying that an extradition was still possible because "the statute of limitations does not apply to US requests".

Polanski’s movements are restricted by an Interpol warrant in effect in 188 countries, but he has been allowed to travel freely between Switzerland, France and Poland.

Of Jewish descent and a French citizen, the 81-year-old filmmaker attended the opening in Warsaw on Tuesday of a monumental museum of the 1,000-year history of Jewish life in Poland. He later traveled to the southern city of Krakow, where he lived when World War II began.

In 2010, Polanski was freed from Swiss house arrest after that government refused to extradite him.

(FRANCE 24 with AFP, AP)

Date created : 2014-10-30

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