NPR logo Judge Rejects Defense Motion In Polanski Case


Judge Rejects Defense Motion In Polanski Case

A Los Angeles judge has rejected an appeal from film director Roman Polanski's lawyers to unseal transcripts that they believe contain false testimony.

Lawyers for the director of Chinatown and The Pianist say Los Angeles prosecutors are relying on statements from a retired prosecutor, Roger Gunson, to press for Polanski's extradition from Switzerland. Swiss authorities have Polanski under house arrest at his vacation home in Gstaad while pondering whether they will release him to U.S. authorities.

The director was arrested in Zurich in September for fleeing the U.S. in 1977. Polanski pleaded guilty to having sex with a 13-year-old girl but fled to France before he could be sentenced.

Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Peter Espinoza declined Monday to unseal the Gunson transcripts, saying the Swiss "have the information they need" to decide upon extradition and can request more if they need it.

Polanski's attorney argued that the testimony is potentially crucial to proving the director's claim of misconduct by the now deceased judge in his case.

In January, Espinoza refused Polanski's request to be sentenced without returning to the U.S.

Material from The Associated Press was used in this report