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Polanski probably will be extradited, Swiss officials tell U.S. prosecutors

E-mail records made public by the L.A. County district attorney's office show that it is likely the film director will be returned to L.A. to face sentencing on child-sex charges.

October 22, 2009|Harriet Ryan

Swiss officials told U.S. authorities earlier this month that Roman Polanski probably will be returned to Los Angeles to face sentencing in the child-sex case he fled three decades ago, according to e-mail records made public by the Los Angeles County district attorney's office.

"While the Swiss officials cannot speak for the judge, the extradition will likely be ordered based upon the facts submitted in our papers," a deputy district attorney in the extradition services department, Diana Carbajal, wrote to her supervisor two weeks ago.

The e-mail related an Oct. 5 conversation between officials at the U.S. Justice Department and their Swiss counterparts concerning the film director, who is jailed in Zurich and fighting extradition.

The district attorney's office sent a packet summarizing the case, in which a 13-year-old girl accused the director of rape and sodomy, to Washington last week and Justice Department officials are to deliver it to Swiss prosecutors.

Swiss officials also urged U.S. prosecutors to address allegations of prosecutorial and judicial misconduct leveled by Polanski's attorneys in the papers sent to Switzerland, according to the e-mail.

Polanski's lawyers have said the judge who handled the case in 1978 had improper discussions with a prosecutor that led to the director effectively getting a double sentence.

Polanski was arrested Sept. 26 as he arrived in Zurich to attend a film festival. According to the e-mail records, U.S. officials were tipped off about his trip by the Swiss federal office of justice.

Officials "are urgently inquiring as to whether the U.S. will be submitting a (provisional arrest) request for Polanski," a Justice Department attorney, Nicholas Marsh, wrote to Carbajal on Sept. 22. Four days later, Polanski was taken into custody as he stepped off an airplane.

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harriet.ryan@latimes.com

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