Polanski Lawyers Seek His Release
Lawyers for Roman Polanski have filed a motion with the Swiss Criminal Court asking that he be released. Early today (Tuesday), the court said that it will issue a decision within the next few weeks. Herve Temime, Polanski's attorney, also said that the director plans to fight extradition to the U.S., a country that he fled 31 years ago after pleading guilty to having sex with a 13-year-old girl. Meanwhile, Los Angeles Times columnist Patrick Goldstein observed Monday that Polanski's arrest comes at a time when federal authorities are demanding that California release 40,000 inmates because of prison overcrowding. "You'd hope that L.A. County prosecutors had better things to do than cause an international furor by hounding a film director for a 32-year-old sex crime, especially one that Polanski's victim wants to put behind her." That furor continues to grow. As of early today more than 100 entertainment industry professionals from Europe, Asia and the U.S. had signed a petition asking that Polanski be released. Among the signers are the directors Pedro Almodóvar, Wong Kar Wai, Wim Wenders, Michael Mann, Woody Allen, David Lynch, Stephen Frears, Costa Gavras, Monica Bellucci and Martin Scorsese. In a letter to the editor of Britain's Independent newspaper, Harvey Weinstein said that he plans to help circulate the petition. Moreover, he said, "I'm not too shy to go and talk to the Governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and to ask him once and for all to look at this."