Oscar winning director Roman Polanski is still overseas hanging out in prison after his arrest last month in Switzerland. The director visited the country, with plans to attend the Zurich Film Festival where he was being honored with a lifetime achievement award. Little did he know, U.S. officials were tipped off by the local authorities to retain Polanski for charges stemming from a 30 year old crime.
Back in the late 1970’s Polanski was charged with drugging and sexually assaulting a minor. The minor in question was Samantha Geimer, who is now a grown woman who’s openly forgiven the director for his past transgressions. Even though the victim’s feelings may have softened, the law and the charges stayed the same. Many people criticized Swiss authorities for swooping in like they did on the unsuspecting Polanski, but according to Justice Ministry spokesman Folco Galli, everything was done by the book.
“An arrest is a big operation,” Galli told the AP. “If we know a wanted individual is coming, we always ask if the arrest warrant is valid. The Americans immediately confirmed that was the case. We have 20,000 warrant requests each year,” Galli said, adding that this was the first time officials had precise details on the director’s arrival and an official American request to arrest him.
At the moment, Polanski is waiting to see if and when he’ll be extradited to the U.S. to face the music, and as for the methods that were used to obtain him, many legal professionals stated that it’s not unusual for foreign countries to work with each other on criminal matters such as this one.
What do you think of the way Roman Polanski was obtained by the Swiss? Was it fair?
Source: Associated Press