Local news blogging: Polanski arrest

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The arrest in Switzerland of American director Roman Polanski, who has been on the run since 1978 after pleading guilty to raping a 13-year-old girl, is becoming something of a diplomatic crisis.

Polanski fled the U.S. after the judge who presided over the case hinted he would refuse the district attorney’s plea agreement set with Polanski and seek a stiffer sentence, possibly a maximum penalty.

France and Poland, where Polanski enjoys dual-citizenship, are calling for his immediate release by pressuring the U.S. and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to intervene.  The U.S. is requesting Polanski’s transfer back to the States.

From the AP:

“In Paris, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said he hoped Polanski could be quickly freed by the Swiss, calling the apprehension a “bit sinister.” He also told France-Inter radio that he and his Polish counterpart Radek Sikorski wrote to Clinton on the case.

“Polanski was “thrown to the lions,” said French Culture Minister Frederic Mitterrand. “In the same way that there is a generous America that we like, there is also a scary America that has just shown its face.”

Since he fled the U.S., Polanski has continued a successful film career working in France.  He was traveling to Switzerland to receive a lifetime achievement award at the Zurich Film Festival when he was detained by Swiss authorities.  Polanski received an Oscar in absentia for directing the 2002 movie “The Pianist.”

California bloggers uncovered some interesting nuggets in this controversial story:

First Patterico debunked Washington Post columnist Anne Applebaum’s facts, then he found major reason to doubt her argument. Where are the organizations investigating the journalistic tactics used in the ACORN tapes?

“Applebaum failed to mention that her husband is a Polish foreign minister who is lobbying for Polanski’s case to be dismissed…”

Patterico also poses argument against L.A. Times column and offers graphic grand jury testimony from victim.

L.A. Observed makes light of what appears to be an AP miscue.

Witness LA and FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog say extradiction makes hardly any sense:

Witness LA:

“So, in this bad budget season when every city, county and state agency is in a fiscal crisis, where is our city’s prosecutorial effort and money going?”

FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog:

“But, it does seem strange that after all of these years (Polanski is 76 years old), an appeal filed to overturn his plea and with the recent Susan Atkins death (who murdered Polanski’s wife, Sharon Tate), that the government would enforce the judgment of the court.”

Quote of the Day:

“Polanski will have his day in a California courtroom soon.”
-FullosseousFlap’s Dental Blog

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Anthony Bowe

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