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U.S. officially wants to extradite Roman Polanski



The United States has officially asked Switzerland to hand over Roman Polanski to California, where he could serve up to two years in prison for allegedly drugging, raping and sodomizing a 13-year-old girl in 1977, Swiss authorities said Friday.

The formal extradition request, which was filed late Thursday, has been forwarded to Zurich authorities, who will hold a hearing on an unspecified date to decide whether Polanski should be sent back to L.A., the AP reports. If extradition is approved, Polanski may appeal the decision to Switzerland's top criminal court and, theoretically, to the Federal Supreme Court. Hey, it's been three decades, what's a few more months?

The maximum sentence Polanski can receive in California is two years, the Justice Ministry said.

"In the American case, he declared himself guilty of having sexual relations with a minor," spokesman Folco Galli told Europe-1 radio. "According to American law currently in force, the maximum penalty for the crime in question is two years in prison."

Of course, Polanski's lawyer Herve Temime said the director would fight extradition: "He will oppose this request and continue to ask to be released until the request is examined." Because he thinks hanging out in France for 31 years is punishment enough, we guess.

[Photo: Getty Images]


[Last modified: Tuesday, May 25, 2010 11:02am]


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