July 12, 2010

Roman Polanski, free at last.

Switzerland has rejected extradition.
The 76-year-old French-Polish film director Roman Polanski will not be extradited to the USA. The freedom-restricting measures against him have been revoked. This announcement was made by Mrs Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf, head of the Swiss Federal Department of Justice and Police (FDJP), in Berne on Monday. The reason for the decision lies in the fact that it was not possible to exclude with the necessary certainty a fault in the US extradition request, although the issue was thoroughly examined. Moreover, also the principles of State action deriving from international public order were taken into account.
What fault in the extradition request? What "principles of State action deriving from international public order"?

UPDATE: NYT reports:
[Justice Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf] said the American authorities had rejected a request by her ministry for records of a hearing by the prosecutor in the case, Roger Gunson, in January 2010 which should have established whether the judge who tried the case in 1977 had assured Mr. Polanski that time he spent in a psychiatric unit would constitute the whole of the period of imprisonment he would serve.

“If this were the case, Roman Polanski would actually have already served his sentence and therefore both the proceedings on which the U.S. extradition request is founded and the request itself would have no foundation,” the Swiss Justice Ministry said in a statement.

94 comments:

Clyde said...

I just had a totally inappropriate flashback of MLK saying "Free at last, free at last!"

Hooray for Switzerland, keeping the world free for nonconsensual sodomy. Lock up your daughters.

/sarc

HDHouse said...

Crap...just absolute crap..

The Crack Emcee said...

You know - with a name like "Schlumpf" - it had to be good.

traditionalguy said...

Roman law prevails over a formerly respected North American colonial legal system's action. We live in a Post-Obama world now.

New York said...

The Times article is updated to answer your questions.

AprilApple said...

Are you a celebrity? Then it isn't "rape rape".

Capt. Schmoe said...

Well, 'twas only buggery by force on a minor, what more did anyone expect?

Tidy Righty said...

A conservative Christian like Mel Gibson says a few un-PC things and the main stream media trashes him as the worst person in the world. This raper of children OTOH is a communist atheistic jew so he gets celebrated as the great artist. See the difference? Who controls the media again?

GMay said...

Well shit, I guess if I ever get into ass raping 13 year old girls and I decide to skip the country to Switzerland, I just need to say I had a good faith reason to go there.

Liberal Hollywood can now rest easy.

GMay said...

Hey Professor,

Can we get some IP identifiers and maybe less restricitve handle requirements? Because if we're gonna have so many Mobies around here, it's time for some sockpuppet goodness.

A.W. said...

mmm, lock up your high-school or Junior-high-school age daughters.

You would tend to think the principles of international public order would be against pedophilia, but i guess not.

they can write whatever reason they want, but we know the real reason why he is free. he made chinatown. never mind that you now suspect that when the woman revealed that the creepy blond is her sister and her daughter, that old Roman probably had a monster woody. no, no, let's focus on what a great artist he is.

A.W. said...

btw, next time a liberal tells me how much more civilized they are in europe, i will remember this.

A.W. said...

Tidy

I was with you until...

> A conservative Christian like Mel Gibson says a few un-PC things and the main stream media trashes him as the worst person in the world. This raper of children OTOH is a communist atheistic jew so he gets celebrated as the great artist. See the difference? Who controls the media again?

...you said the word "jew." yeah, its all a jewish conspiracy. *rolls eyes*

MadisonMan said...

Was the Judge just looking for an excuse to keep Polanski in Europe, where he is so greatly yet inexplicably admired, or did the US Attorneys fall down on the job by not providing everything that might be asked for?

Quayle said...

The US refused some accommodation on keeping bank accounts hidden, so Polanski was taken back off the negotiating table

That's my take.

Doug Wright said...

Perhaps now, Roman should celebrate by making "Whoopi!" Would that be rape - rape?

Cheers!

Chase said...

The judge is correct on this one.

How sad and how stupid the U.S. authorities who refused to send the necessary docs. Idiots.

A.W. said...

Chase

shouldn't you reserve that judgment until you hear the LA DA's side of it?

And i would add, they are claiming they need the minutes from a certain hearing. Sorry, is anyone unsure that he is a fugitive from justice? If procedure was the only issue, then let him continue his "imprisonment" at his mansion under "mansion arrest" and give them time to get it right.

Tidy Righty said...

GMay, if Roman was a conservative Christian would he get a pass from the mainstream media? I betcha you won't answer that!

Dead Julius said...

I watched a similar case with a less famous defendant proceed in Denmark recently. Camille Broe was extradited to Florida in 2009 for allegedly participating in an Ecstasy-pill scheme in the 1990s, becoming the first person that Denmark extradited outside the European Union. It was a big deal over there.

Her trial started in Florida earlier this year. It was immediately dismissed by the judge because of the statute of limitations. Funny thing was that the Americans, throughout the long Danish extradition proceedings, stated unequivocally that this case was not barred by limitations. They lied. It's likely that they lied about other things too.

The dismissal of the Florida case was upheld on appeal. Broe is back, and free, in Denmark.

This is what the participants in the American legal system do: They lie to the world. If you are a judge in a foreign country, you cannot trust them. Everything the Americans say must be doubted if you want to deal with the truth rather than with the fake politically-driven show.

You know what the most interesting part is? After the charges were dismissed in Florida, the prosecutor immediately charged Broe with a different crime: immigration violations. That's right-- she was forced to come to the USA against her will, escorted by US Marshalls, per US request, and the prosecutor claimed that therefore she entered the country illegally.

It seems that the same sort of dishonesty is at play in the Polanski case. From the updated NY Times article:

[The Swiss Justice Minister] said the American authorities had rejected a request by her ministry for records of a hearing by the prosecutor in the case, Roger Gunson, in January 2010, which should have established whether the judge who tried the case in 1977 had assured Mr. Polanski that time he spent in a psychiatric unit would constitute the whole of the period of imprisonment he would serve.

The Americans could just give the records, couldn't they? I'll bet that the reason they withheld them is that the records would show that the Americans have misrepresented the facts of the case to the Swiss, and not just the facts concerning this particular question.

The bottom line is that the Swiss decision has nothing to do with Polanski's conduct, and everything to do with the conduct of Americans seeking the extradition.

Fred4Pres said...

What's a rape of a 13 year old among friends? He won an OSCAR® which is an automatice get out of free card.

Or to quote Chinatown:

“You’re dumber than you think I think you are.”

Scott M said...

I'm sure the Swiss weighed Whoopi's opinion that it wasn't rape rape. She' apparently also an expert on dog fighting. I suppose she's also of the opinion that the Philly Black Panthers weren't carry baton batons.

A.W. said...

Dead

if they rejected the request (again, i would wait for their side of it), it might have something to do with the fact that you aren't supposed to retry the case in an extradition hearing--you're just supposed to send them away.

michael farris said...

My best hunch is that not turning over the documents was regarded by the LA side as a convenient way of making the whole thing go away.

From the beginning there was an air of 'oh crap, what do we do now?' in the American handling of this once the officious Swiss actually arrested him.

Cedarford said...

Guys a creep, but it is a 32-year old case even the woman involved does not want pursued, and she did an out of court settlement with him.

Meanwhile, California has admitted they do not have the funds or time to pursue 200 murderers that fled to Mexico.

There is also the principle of reasonable time to make a caim through the state that harm was done, justice thwarted. California elected to treat this for 20 years as done and over with. Legally, it doesn't fit with statutes of limitation since he "fled justice".

Making him essentially no different than a guy who deserted the Army back in 1977 now caught or some dumb black guy who fled Angola prison work camp after serving 1 year of a 5 year sentence for burglary as a 16-year old in 1960, now caught.

Authorities considering a 20 year stretch for the deserter or giving the 66-year old 4 years plus 10 for the escape have to consider not the "legal" statute of limitations, but how well justice would be served. After such a long time. Served by grave, effectively "death in prison" sentences on old men who have lived law-abiding lives since the misdeeds they did decades ago in their youth??

If Polanski wasn't a celebrity, just some other guy who pronged a sexually active teen and bailed to Israel, Mexico, Haiti etc as others have done - no way would a DA saying he lacked time or resources to go after murderers and robbers who fled to Mexico have bothered.
But DAs are lawyers and ambitious. And this one thought his political career and the careers of his loyal minions would be enhanced if he could get Polanski and bathe in the media limelight.

Won't happen. Tough for his ambitions.

And maybe he can go and figure out how he can get resources in a broke state to pursue active felony cases that happened this year and last year - including 20,000 suspected cases of statutory rape in California involving willing if drugged minors under 14.

In the end, it is all about priorities and resources. There are some that say "there is no price on justice for bin Laden" and "it is worth it to have 4 trillion spent, a Global Depression, 250,000 American dead, and a nuke war with Pakistan" over to just get him in a US court.
But our leaders would gravely harm us by a decision like that.

Similarly, a prosecutor that lets murderers and present day rapists walk so he can pursue publicity by resurrecting a 32-year old case the victim doesn't want opened...does not serve the public good..just himself and the idiotic "no price on justice!" yahoos who remain ignorant that law and justice are subject to the same constraints of time and resources as selecting what bridges need fixing the most, what nations the US military must invade to "nation build" vs. 12-20 we won't invade to save.
What a small city budget with 105 million available with 477 million in claimed "urgent needs" must be allocated for.

buster said...

From the NYT story:

"[Justice Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf] said the American authorities had rejected a request by her ministry for records of a hearing by the prosecutor in the case, Roger Gunson, in January 2010 which should have established whether the judge who tried the case in 1977 had assured Mr. Polanski that time he spent in a psychiatric unit would constitute the whole of the period of imprisonment he would serve.[Justice Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf] said the American authorities had rejected a request by her ministry for records of a hearing by the prosecutor in the case, Roger Gunson, in January 2010 which should have established whether the judge who tried the case in 1977 had assured Mr. Polanski that time he spent in a psychiatric unit would constitute the whole of the period of imprisonment he would serve.

'If this were the case, Roman Polanski would actually have already served his sentence and therefore both the proceedings on which the U.S. extradition request is founded and the request itself would have no foundation,' the Swiss Justice Ministry said in a statement."

The Swiss Justice Minister is being dishonest. Every lawyer knows that a sentencing proceeding takes place in open court in the presence of the defendant. It cannot take place in a private conversation between the judge, prosecutor and defense counsel.

The Justice Minister's argument seems to be that the judge's assurances to the defense lawyers would bind him in the sentencing proceeding, so that he could not sentence Polanski to more than time served. This is ridiculous. The judge's assurances (assuming he actually gave them) are irrelevant unless Polanski or his lawyers relied on them to Polanski's detriment. There was no detrimental reliance by Polanski. Once he found out that the judge might change his mind about the length of the sentence, he ran away. The judge was free to impose any sentence authorized by law.

The Justice Minister's talk about possible defects in the extradition application, and about "principles of State action deriving from international public order," is dishonest nonsense designed to cover up legal and political cowardice.

Fred4Pres said...

Yeah, it is all the American's fault. Polanski is just a victim in all of this. It was the seventies, she looked older than 13, doing her in the butt was just being responsible when you don't have a condom, and Qualudes were like candy back then. As Whoopie says, it was not like it was "rape rape."

New York said...

Most of the NYTimes comments oppose the Swiss decision. But most of the commenters who have "TimesPeople profiles" (ie. the regular NYTimes commenters) support it.

Flexo said...

American authorities had rejected a request by her ministry for records

YES, it is the fault of American authorities. If you don't like the decision, bitch to Hillary Clinton about it.

Flexo said...

My best hunch is that not turning over the documents was regarded by the LA side as a convenient way of making the whole thing go away

When was he arrested in Switzerland??

Authorities in the U.S. have been slow-peddling this from the beginning, indicating that, despite their bluster, they did not really want him brought back.

A.W. said...

Michael

Well, patterico of patterico’s pontifications works for the LA DA. And he has been hot on this case since it broke. He certainly didn’t want it to go away. Unless he is completely full of it.

Now mind you, he isn’t even in the unit that handles it, but still fwiw.

Cedar

> Guys a creep, but it is a 32-year old case even the woman involved does not want pursued, and she did an out of court settlement with him.

Its not her decision. And by all reports, he didn’t stop with the teenagers when he fled.

> Meanwhile, California has admitted they do not have the funds or time to pursue 200 murderers that fled to Mexico.

Well, shameful for sure.

> There is also the principle of reasonable time to make a caim

They convicted him at the time and put out the international warrant immediately. Yeah, I am sure lots of people figured he would never be arrested, but my understanding is they did everything procedurally to pursue the case.

> Served by grave, effectively "death in prison" sentences on old men who have lived law-abiding lives since the misdeeds they did decades ago in their youth??

Well, if they didn’t want to serve in prison when old, they shouldn’t have fled when they were young.

> If Polanski wasn't a celebrity, just some other guy who pronged a sexually active teen and bailed to Israel, Mexico, Haiti etc as others have done - no way would a DA saying he lacked time or resources to go after murderers and robbers who fled to Mexico have bothered.

Poor Polanski is being persecuted. Give me a break.

> But DAs are lawyers and ambitious.

Do you think one single voter in LA would say, “well, let’s vote for this guy, he put Polanki in the pokey”?

> including 20,000 suspected cases of statutory rape in California involving willing if drugged minors under 14

There have been 20,000 cases like Polanski?

And there is a difference: suspected. Polanski isn’t suspect of rape; he is confessed guilty of it.

> just [to] get [Bin Laden] in a US court

A shot in the back of the head would make me happy.

> Similarly, a prosecutor that lets murderers and present day rapists walk so he can pursue publicity by resurrecting a 32-year old case the victim doesn't want opened...does not serve the public good..

Of course it does. When a person gets away flagrantly with a high-profile crime, it creates a sense of lawlessness among the people and it gives rise to suspicions of unequal justice—that if you are important enough, you can get away with anything, including anally raping a little girl.

edutcher said...

Hate to agree with A.W., but defending Mel Gibson is no way to put this in perspective. The Lefties believe all the moral relativism they've been using to destroy western civilization and it will destroy them.

As for Polanski, he will get his. Some disease or somebody he did will catch up with him.

Monkey Dollars said...

Roman Polanski Victim Pics and Extradition Case July 12

http://www.monkeydollars.net/2010/07/roman-polanski-extradition-case-july-12.html

Cedarford said...

buster - "The Swiss Justice Minister is being dishonest. Every lawyer knows that a sentencing proceeding takes place in open court in the presence of the defendant. It cannot take place in a private conversation between the judge, prosecutor and defense counsel."

Not true. You mistake the "official sentencing" for the typical deals struck in judges chambers.
The deal, Polanskis lawyers claimed over 3 decades ago and his lawyers now...was that Polanski was assured through counsel that the judge would officially sentence him to time served at a psychiatric facility IF Polanski did his time fully there and cooperated. Polanski did. While awaiting sentencing, he was allowed to travel to Europe on business and was photo'd with two "of age" teen models draped on him. Which infuriated the judge as the photo was made public. Bad publicity for an LA judge who loved positive publicity for himself.

The judge told the prosecutor he would renege on the deal and blindside "the little bastard" with a maximum jail term. The prosecutor, who wanted to go in private practice was justly concerned that would make HIS word and credibilty mud in law practice- and alerted defense counsel to the coming blindside.

Polanski fled.

The Swiss prosecutor got it right. The US with held documents that pointed out that US justice in this case was nearly as perverted as Polanski himself. Not wanted to be embarassed by "the way things were done in the USA" in open European Court.

Sad to say, a lot of this stuff goes on in US courts. And top lawyers for the American State are reticent about airing our dirty legal laundry overseas. (As the foreigners are with us about what their little cabals of lawyers do to promote their own wealth, graft, careers, and ideology.)

jimbino said...

Hey, the Swiss are used to being on the wrong side, if not both sides, in international disputes. At least this time they're not profiting from the death of millions of Jews.

Chase said...

The judge was free to impose any sentence authorized by law.

So, in other words, it's ok - at least in your standard of morality - for judges to lie?

buster said...

Cedarford said to Buster:

"You mistake the 'official sentencing' for the typical deals struck in judges chambers."

Cedarford, you're wrong. Trust me. I'm a lawyer.

Sentencing someone convicted of a crime raises really important issues about due process of law. Formal rules of procedure are the principal way the law guarantees due process. A lot of what seems like empty formality to non-lawyers is actually central to the ideals of law.

It is a violation of due process--and unconstitutional as well--to sentence a defendant in a private proceeding where he is not present, except in extremely unusual circumstances that were not present in Polanski's case.

A sentence must also be stated in a written order that becomes part of the court file. Otherwise the sentence is a legal nullity. There is no sentencing order in Polanski's case. This, like a public proceeding, is not an unimportant detail. It is a violation of due process.

It is a completely uncontroversial matter of black-letter law that Polanski has never been sentenced for the crimes to which he pleaded guilty. The Swiss Justice Minister knows this. She is lying.

dartmouth05 said...

Ann, when I see a commentator blaming the decision of the Swiss Federal Department of Justice and Police on the Jewish control of the media, it makes a little more difficult for me to believe your outrage at Ezra Klein's comments.

As for the anti-semite himself, Tidy Righty, France is probably the biggest source of anti-semitism in Europe at the moment. And the Swiss have hardly been friends of the Jews either. Even leaving aside your canard about control of the media, if there are two countries where Jews as a group have almost no influence whatsoever, France and Switzerland have to be pretty high on the list.

MadisonMan said...

dartmouth5, perhaps you should write why you think tolerance of speaking or writing a view is tantamount to support of that view.

Chase said...

She is lying.

My brother is a lawyer. He just said she is not lying, at least based on has been reported so far.

Polanski is scum. But the way this case was handled by the original judge stinks and is a stain on the American legal system. Polanski can go free for my money because the legal parties originally involved fucked up their part of the best legal system in the world. That's right - judges and lawyers should do their jobs right the first time.

Out here in Riverside County, CA the District Attorney - a man I have known for 20 years - was turned out of office (I voted against him) for putting his desire for a perfect conviction record ahead of justice. Even law and order judges were angry with his waste of time and twisted efforts to get convictions where they weren't deserved. I turned against his reelection when akid I knew was wrongly "fingered" in a workplace burglary. The convicted felons in the case recanted their lies about his involvement, but the DA's office wanted a misdemeanor plea bargain anyway, which this newly married, never in trouble with the law kid had to take after spending his 100,000 + inheritance and retirement on the legal bills. The local paper - which had endorsed this DA previously was ecstatic at his defeat. I was sad. I haven't talked to him in over 7 months. He was a good man in so many ways, but he frankly fucked up the trust that he was given

Here's my advice to lawyers - stop fucking with people's lives. Do your job by the letter of the law, with your highest integrity, or get the fuck out.

dartmouth05 said...

Never said it did, MadisonMan. For that matter, I don't think Ezra Klein did either, although I could be mistaken-perhaps he did.

In any event, from what I've read of Ann's denouncements of Klein, her response wasn't that she wasn't responsible for the comments here, but rather, that there were no anti-semitic comments. I beg to differ.

jamboree said...

Just makes me wish I had a huge multi-national corporation based in Switzerland so I could pull all my money from the country. Fuck Switzerland.

Big Mike said...

Or this guy.

traditionalguy said...

Tidy Righty... You are making a habit of slandering Christianity everytime you use it as your justification for back slapping other people's opinions. Jesus does not need your fraudulent pretense of being on His side to defend Himself. He has already won.

MadisonMan said...

dartmouth05, here's the althouse post in question.

Perhaps I should ask you what you mean by a lot. I can think of two.

You will note, however, that no claims there are no anti-semitic comments. So I'm not sure why you'd remember it that way.

Christian said...

Knowing the German/Austrian/Swiss complex for paperwork, forms, stamps, translated and in triplicate, they probably just flagged it on a technicality and since there is no appeal -- poof -- case closed.

traditionalguy said...

Tidy and Dartmouth seem to be teamed up together to plant an anti-semitism IED at Althouse and set it off. My complements to them for as skillful a joint Moby job as I've seen.

Cedarford said...

Buster - For a self-professed lawyer, you remain remarkably obtuse about the negotiations for various plea bargains done outside Open Court and made workable only if client, lawyers believe the court officer's word is bond in forging a plea deal...and the official, formal sentencing in Open Court that comes later.

I have been involved in a plea bargain process where a fired employee who stole..as part of actions he had to do prior to sentencing, was do some apologies, make restitution, avoid all gambling, sign up to a full gamblers anonymous program. We were of course as the employers who caught him, part of the restitution, apologized to by the terminated employee who showed real, agonizing regret for the trust he betrayed. Then contacted by defense counsel and some para for the prosecutor asking us how it went, but also obliquely asking stuff about how we would regard "punishment" in light of what remedies the guy did. (neither giving us plea bargain details...)

In return for that, it turns out it was promised to the guy, on word of prosecutors to defense counsel with judge agreeing in chambers - that the ex-employee would avoid jail in return for his guilty plea, corrective actions, paying more fines and court costs, and the sentence would go from grand down to petty larceny with an expungement in two years time.

That is similar to Polanski. Someone is in real trouble, and how much sentence and jail time is a function in many cases of what a plea deal can accomplish for both the accused, the offended parties, and minimize the draw on state fiscal and time constraint consideration.

But for law to work, the lawyers and judges word made to one another, as officers of the court, have to be solid bond.
That gets breached, the system suffers.
Had the judge in the Polanski case been good to his word, this would have all been over 32 years ago.

William said...

Another woman recently came forward and said that Polanski abused her. My guess is that there are probably many, many others. Polanski is an evil man, and he has gotten away with it.

A.W. said...

Cedar

You have to work really hard to say that it is some kind of injustice to sentence a man for more than 90 days in prison for anally raping a child. But you certainly do your best...

> You mistake the "official sentencing" for the typical deals struck in judges chambers.

No, you are confused. There is no deal struck in judge’s chambers. Prosecutors strike deals, but the judge stays the f--- out of that end of things.

If the judge said anything close to that, it was hemmed in with a lot of “probably”s. As in if you go into and keep your nose clean, I will probably sentence you to time served.

> Bad publicity for an LA judge who loved positive publicity for himself.

Yeah, its all about publicity. How about it being this? Polanski was going around laughing off the non-punishment? He was not at all acting contrite? He couldn’t keep it in his pants for 50 days? Do you think that entered into the judge’s mind at all.

By the way, how do you know those girls were of age? What were their ages?

> The prosecutor, who wanted to go in private practice was justly concerned that would make HIS word and credibilty mud in law practice

Right. Everyone has base motivations. Except Polanski who just purely wants to make art and rape little girls anally.

> The US with held documents that pointed out that US justice in this case was nearly as perverted as Polanski himself.

We don’t know that they were withheld, and in any case, who are they to judge. All of these issues could have been raised on appeal.

> Sad to say, a lot of this stuff goes on in US courts.

Your theory is so specific to Polanski, I don’t see how.

> various plea bargains

Those plea bargins are between the PROSECUTOR and the defendant. The prosecutor offers two things in exchange for a plea of guilty. 1) a reduction of the charge (reducing usually the amount of time a person can be sentenced—i.e. statutory rape instead of forcible rape). 2) a sentence recommendation. Of course there is an informal understanding that if the prosecutor recommends something, the judge generally will follow that recommendation. But the judge is under no actual, legal obligation, you twit.

> who showed real, agonizing regret for the trust he betrayed

And when Polanski partied with those allegedly adult models, was that because of the agonizing regret he had for anally raping a child?

> on word of prosecutors to defense counsel with judge agreeing in chambers

Again, the judge would never, ever agree to that. And you of course weren’t there, so you don’t know.

Chase

> So, in other words, it's ok - at least in your standard of morality - for judges to lie?

Did he lie, or change his mind. Duh.

Buster

What you said. High five. Except for this:

> The Swiss Justice Minister knows this. She is lying.

Well, or she is clueless. Or it was mistranslated.

buster said...

Chase said to buster:

"My brother is a lawyer. He just said she is not lying, at least based on has been reported so far."

I don't know what your brother's reasoning is, but I'll clarify my own.

1. The Swiss Justice Minister didn't say that Polanski has been sentenced to time served. (No competent lawyer, including your brother, would say that.) Instead she said that there may be information indicating that Polanski can't be sentenced to more than time served, and she will not grant the extradition request until she has that information. Presumably, if it turns out that the information shows that in fact Polanski can't be sentenced to more than time served, she will reject the request.

2. Even if it were true that Polanski can't be sentenced to more than time served, that is not a reason to deny the extradition request. Polanski has not been sentenced yet, and the Minister can't know what the sentence will be if and when it is ever pronounced.

3. Whether Polanski can be sentenced to more than time served is a matter of California law, and the Minister is not authorized to interpret California law. If she is concerned about that she should consult with the Los Angeles district attorney, the California Attorney General, or some other competent public official.

3. Besides, the question whether Polanski can be sentenced to more than time served goes to the merits of the case. The Minister is not allowed to consider the merits, at least in Polanski's case. She may only consider (1) whether are valid charges pending (or, in Polanski's case, a valid judgment of guilt); (2) whether Polanski is a fugutive; and (3) whether the California courts can be trusted to do substantial justice (i.e., apply the law fairly). I don't know the details of the Minister's deliberations, but it seems pretty obvious to me that the original judge in the case entered a valid judgment of guilt based on a valid guilty plea, Polanski fled the country before sentencing and remains a fugitive to this day, and California courts can be trusted to do justice. Therefore the extradition request should be granted.

4. To avoid this result, the Minister concocted her novel theory that private assurances allegedly given by the original judge to the defense attorneys, to the effect that Polanski would only be sentenced to time served, operate as an estoppel (lawyerese for "you can't do that") that prevents the court from giving Polanski a longer sentence. This is another issue of California law going to the merits, and the Minister is not authorized to decide it. She must trust the California court to do its job.

4. Even if the Minister were authorized to decide the issue herself, the idea that private assurances by the judge to the defense lawyers--assurances that Polanski did not rely on to his detriment--constitute an estoppel is beyond silly. Ask your brother what he thinks.

5. The fact that the Minister mentions "principles of State action deriving from international public order" without saying what those principles are and how they apply to Polanski tells us all we need to know about her intellectual honesty.

buster said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
buster said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
buster said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
buster said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
David said...

Ok--let's use this as a reason to hear no more about Roman Polanski.

Flexo said...

the Minister is not authorized to interpret California law

Buster -- are you an expert in Swiss law?

The authority of the Swiss minister is a matter of Swiss law, not California law, and she can consider whatever Swiss law says she can consider in extradition matters.

buster said...

Flexo said:

"Buster -- are you an expert in Swiss law?"

No, I'm not. But the Minister's authority is not a matter of Swiss law. Extradition is based on treaties between nations, not domestic laws. The treaties are based on principles of international law. No government will sign an extradition treaty allowing foreign government officials to tell it what its own law is.

There are three exceptions. A government can refuse to extradite (1) if the crime charged is not a crime in the extraditing country, or (2) if the possible sentence would be excessive in the extraditing country (European countries usually refuse to extradite someone who could be sentenced to death unless the requesting country agrees not to seek the death penalty), or (3) the requesting country's courts can't be trusted to apply the law fairly. None of this applies to Polansky.

dartmouth05 said...

It would be nice if that were true, traditionalguy, sadly, Tidy's anti-semitism is not a plant, at least not by me, and I strongly resent your libel.

buster said...

P.S.

Extradition between American states is based on the "full faith and credit" clause of the federal constitution.

Also, every country has domestic laws governing the conduct of extradition proceedings. But those laws must be consistent with the underlying treaty. Those treaties do not allow a government to reject the requesting country's interpretation of its own laws.

A.W. said...

flexo

i won't say its illegal, because i don't know what our extradition treaty says.

But it is unusual for a nation to sit in judgment of our court procedures. it would be one thing if a girl was fleeing iran because they were going to stone her to death for being raped. Or if they were merey going to punish her for an ordinary crime--given that you cannot trust for justice to be done. but this is America, and the swiss should have enough respect for our system of justice to presume that if he has been convicted and he has not fufilled his actual sentence, that he be extradicted. and any defenses polanski has should be presented to our courts, and not theirs. And its in their interest, if only because they wouldn't want to become known as a haven for pedophiles.

Chase said...

or (3) the requesting country's courts can't be trusted to apply the law fairly.

The plain facts of the original judge's mishandling of this case - which no one involved originally actually disputes - prove that #3 is it.

Set. Match.

See - this is the problem. Wanting Polanski no matter what the damage to the American legal system and the rule of law that the original judge did to it in his fucked up promises (and now the US refusing to give info to the Swiss) - wanting Polanski no matter what is basic anarchy 101. It's liberalism and the Obama admins selective prosecutions. It's politics.

And it's morally wrong. The U.S. is better than that.

Sorry Buster about your personal desires. The Swiss judged this one correctly. He's a free man, at least in Switzerland, and you can thank the fucked up, ignore-the-law attorneys and judges of the United States of America.

Get some integrity and osme balls, brother. Own it.

Chase said...

or (3) the requesting country's courts can't be trusted to apply the law fairly.

The plain facts of the original judge's mishandling of this case - which no one involved originally actually disputes - prove that #3 is it.

Set. Match.

See - this is the problem. Wanting Polanski no matter what the damage to the American legal system and the rule of law that the original judge did to it in his fucked up promises (and now the US refusing to give info to the Swiss) - wanting Polanski no matter what is basic anarchy 101. It's liberalism and the Obama admins selective prosecutions. It's politics.

And it's morally wrong. The U.S. is better than that.

Sorry Buster about your personal desires. The Swiss judged this one correctly. He's a free man, at least in Switzerland, and you can thank the fucked up, ignore-the-law attorneys and judges of the United States of America.

Get some integrity and osme balls, brother. Own it.

Flexo said...

the swiss should have enough respect for our system of justice

That goes both ways.
We should have enough respect for the Swiss system of justice.

A.W. said...

Flexo

> We should have enough respect for the Swiss system of justice.

We should respect their system of justice enough to ignore their disrespect of ours? How is that even logical.

Chase

Prove the judge’s promise. What were his exact words?

A.W. said...

btw, cedar, chase, when you said the judge said X, and Y, are you basing it on the word of... this guy?

http://www.cnn.com/2009/CRIME/10/01/polanski.prosecutor.admits.lie/

A.W. said...

ah, dang the html is cut off

try this, cut and past and eliminate line breaks.

http://www.cnn.com/2009/
CRIME/10/01/
polanski.prosecutor.admits.lie/

buster said...

Chase said:

"The plain facts of the original judge's mishandling of this case - which no one involved originally actually disputes - prove that #3 is it.

Set. Match."

It doesn't work that way, Chase. Assuming the original judge engaged in some form of misconduct re sentencing, it has not harmed Polanski because he was not actually sentenced. The original judge is now dead, and some other judge will decide the sentence. There is no reason why the new judge can't sentence Polanski fairly. If the original judge's supposed misconduct limits the new judge's discretion, the new judge can respect those limits.

When I said that extradition can be refused if the courts of the requesting country can't be trusted to apply the law fairly, I meant that the courts are systematically corrupt, or that political considerations and the like make it impossible for the defendant in question to be treated according to law. No one, including the Swiss Justice Minister, is claiming that is true of the L.A. County Superior Court.

buster said...

Cedarford said:

"Buster - For a self-professed lawyer, you remain remarkably obtuse about the negotiations for various plea bargains done outside Open Court and made workable only if client, lawyers believe the court officer's word is bond in forging a plea deal...and the official, formal sentencing in Open Court that comes later."


In addition to A.W.'s excellent comments, two more points, Cedarford:

1. Assuming everything happened just as Polanski claims, it would hardly be the first time a judge changes his mind about a plea agreement. There is a standard remedy in such cases. The defendant withdraws his guilty plea and goes to trial. He doesn't get to force the judge to abide by the original agreement.

2. The transcript of Polanski's plea hearing shows that he pleaded guilty without any agreement about what his sentence would be. The judge stated that he would decide the sentence after Polanski spent 90 days in a mental health facility having a psychiatric evaluation. The judge also said that he might consider sentencing Polanski to those 90 days, depending on the result of the evaluation. There was no agreement about the sentence, let alone a binding one. Polanski had no reason to expect a lenient sentence.

Dark Eden said...

So is it just child rapists that the Swiss support or will they give shelter to any old rapists that happen along? Is it just American Rapists? We could save a pretty penny by shipping all our pedophiles and rapists over there where the state will sanction their behavior.

Methadras said...

If you can molest children while they are drugged, run away to a more 'understanding' european country about the crime you've committed, play off the sympathy that your pregnant wife was butchered by a nut, and wait long enough for everything to hash itself out, well, then you will get away with it. Eurotrash 1, children of the US that get molested 0.

So how soon before Polanski becomes a priest?

A.W. said...

meth

you also left off "sympathy as a survivor of the holocaust." because lord knows the murder of millions of jews should entitle you to a little teen ass.

I haven't seen polanski personally invoke the holocaust, but alot of his defenders have. Being the kind of person hitler genocided, i am pretty offended by them cheapening the holocaust.

Cedarford said...

AW - "2) a sentence recommendation. Of course there is an informal understanding that if the prosecutor recommends something, the judge generally will follow that recommendation. But the judge is under no actual, legal obligation, you twit."

======

No, this wasn't something where all punishment awaited some grand sentencing in open court.

Part of the deal was Polanski's lawyers agreeing to send their client to a jail psychiatric facility and they ran this by the judge - who said IF Polanski did the time and fully cooperated AND set in motion some restitution he'd accept a plea deal. (the girl did NOT want to participate in any trial, and the basic plea deal Polanski accepted was drafted by the attorney for the girl as part of the family's desire that she not be named and be financially compensated) For conditions, he would consider the time in psychiatric jail if they gave a recommendation against more jail time, hoiw Polanski did on court-ordered probation, and the guilty plea opening him up to civil lawsuit - as adequate.

That was the 1st Phase of the plea deal, twit.
Commitment papers were signed by Polanski, his lawyers, and the DA's office. He was sentenced to 90 days at Chino State Prison psychiatric facility by the Judge via court order.

A probation report and the psychiatric evaluation both indicated that Polanski should not serve jail time - conditions the judge had specified.

The judge on seeing the pics of POlanski hanging with German models and the media blasting him for letting Polanski go to a film festival called in prosecutors and said that the judge now considered Polanski in breach for showing "bad morals" even though prosecutors said the models were of age and were just posing with him at the Film Festival, not sleeping with them.

Worse, according to the prosecutor, the judge said not to alert defense that the plea deal was off, but let them come into court thinking it was on, so the judge could get the guilty plea - then blindside Polanski's lawyers.

That was enough to get the prosecutor to inform defense counsel - to protect his own word and reputation. Discussions then evolved around the likelihood that if Polanski withdrew his guilty plea the judge would cancel bail and imprison him as a flight risk for 6-18 months until a full Trial could be scheduled.

As I said, a very embarassing moment in California justice - nearly as perverted as Polanski himself. And when the Swiss wanted that evidence to review through discovery as his Swiss defense counsel demanded as invalidating the legitimacy of California's claim to take custody - the ambitious lawyers for California who resurrected the case to advance their own careers - refused.

Had they provided evidence that showed the original prosecutor, defense counsel, the Geimer (the girl) lawyer were ALL lying and the judge was merely "misinterpreted" - the Swiss would have extradited. But when California state lawyers refused to deliver evidence they promised the Swiss would be soon forthcoming (a lie that got the Swiss to arrest him in the 1st place) - game over.

Tidy Righty said...

The people here who are trying to label me as an anti-semite are the same people who label as racists those of us who are fight having too many Mexican illegal aliens in this country.

I reject BOTH labels! Instead I am a strong conservative American who is willing to fight to return this country to its proud heritage.

Tidy Righty said...

I also thank Mrs. Ann Althouse for creating a forum were these topics can be discussed in an open and honest non-PC way.

A.W. said...

Cedar

In your attempt to defend the celebrity assrapist, you keep leaving something out in your fairy tale about the judge…

Prove it. prove the judge said any of that.

> even though prosecutors said the models were of age and were just posing with him at the Film Festival, not sleeping with them.

Do you even know how old they were? Because you keep dodging that question.

What was their ages? And, by the way, how exactly do you know he didn’t sleep with them? Are you taking his word for it?

> Worse, according to the prosecutor, the judge said not to alert defense that the plea deal was off, but let them come into court thinking it was on, so the judge could get the guilty plea - then blindside Polanski's lawyers.

In order to prevent him from fleeing, which, in retrospect, seems like a wise decision.

And you are repeating yourself. Just restating your argument without answering my points is not answering my argument.

> Discussions then evolved around the likelihood that if Polanski withdrew his guilty plea the judge would cancel bail and imprison him as a flight risk for 6-18 months until a full Trial could be scheduled.

Actually, he could not at that point.

But let’s suppose he had. Then why didn’t he have the balls to just go to trial?

And then you go on making up stuff that is not supported by anything.

A.W. said...

Tidy

We are calling you an anti-semite because you actually hate jews.

Do me a favor. Stay off my side.

A.W. said...

btw, tidy, if you think anyone believes you are not a troll, you are only kidding yourself.

buster said...

@ Cedarford re his comments on how plea deals work in general and in Polanski's case in particular.

Negotiating plea deals is not just a matter of a bunch of lawyers setting around a table trading proposals. The details of the deal must be entered into the record, precisely so that the parties can't, as in this case, disagree later about what the agreement actually was. Usually this means that a written document is placed in the record reciting the particulars of the deal. If there is no written document, there is an elaborate colloquy in open court where the prosecutor explains the precise terms of the deal in detail, and the defendant or his lawyer states that the prosecutor's description of the deal is correct and that the defendant agrees to accept those terms. This colloquy is transcribed by the court stenographer. No court will act on a plea deal that has not been memorialized in this way.

In Polanski's case it is undisputed that there is no written document. The transcript of the plea hearing shows there was no colloquy. As a simple matter of trial court procedure, this shows there was no plea agreement.

I should also add that in every case involving a serious charge (i.e., in all but the most minor dismeanor cases), the prosecution will not accept a plea proposal without first doing a careful analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of its case. This analysis appears in a written memorandum that is in the prosecutor's file. It is simply impossible that in Polanski's case--involving as it did extremely serious charges and a celebrity who attracted attention from the press worldwide--that such a memorandum does not exist if the parties actually reached an agreement. Polanski's lawyers are smart enough to demand a copy of the memorandum it they think it exists. They haven't.

Big Mike said...

If you're rich and famous you get a pass on buggering children. When has it been otherwise anywhere in Europe?

Flexo said...

So now you are also an expert on 1970s-era local criminal practice and procedure in Los Angeles?

Flexo said...

We really do have a whole barrel of maroons on display here today.

If the Swiss really were a bunch of duplicitous protectors of child rapists, why did they bother to arrest him in the first place, why bother to waste their own time, their own legal resources for the last 10-11 months? The Swiss could just as easily have ignored the international warrant and never have detained him.

It was the L.A. officials who clearly did not want to have to actually deal with this. All they wanted to do was to shoot their mouths off. So when it came time to having to produce some records to justify their request, they didn't bother.

I know it is all the rage in the Age of Obama to simply make demands without having to justify them, but some places do actually require some modicum of due process. If the L.A. officials could not bother to come up with that minimal request, that is their doing, not the Swiss authorities.

buster said...

I didn't mean to offend you, Flexo.

A.W. said...

Cedar

By the way, I found out why you don’t want to say anything about the girls Polanski was cavorting with in Germany. One of them was his paramour Nastassja Kinski. She was 17 on that date, but 15 when he first started screwing her. Which might be legal where they were, but if it is, its an indictment on the place, not an excuse for him. As Polanski, a holocaust survivor would surely know, certain things are always wrong, even if legal. Sex with a 15 year old girl is one of them, unless you are like 17 yourself.

Now sex with a 17 year old is not that kind of malum in se, but its pretty f—ing creepy and you can bet his lawyer was beating his head on the desk when he saw the pictures.

You act as though the judge owed Polanski something. But bluntly justice was going to be done. If anything given that he was ONLY charged with statutory rape, he was getting off easy, and probably out of fear of what his lawyer would do to the victim.

AC245 said...

Tidy and Dartmouth seem to be teamed up together to plant an anti-semitism IED at Althouse and set it off. My complements to them for as skillful a joint Moby job as I've seen.

Yeah, I pointed that out in another thread earlier.

Seems that whenever the TR moby pops up and gets called out, there's a lefty right there to insist that this caricature who sprang out of the blue just last month is representative of Althouse's regular commenters.

Strange.

(Oh, and that "libel" threat was a cute touch, Jedi.)

Revenant said...

It would be nice if that were true, traditionalguy, sadly, Tidy's anti-semitism is not a plant, at least not by me, and I strongly resent your libel.

Very convenient. The last time Klein and Althouse were at odds, he tried peddling that nonsense about there being "a lot" of anti-Semites here.

They clash again over the Journolist fiasco and, voila, here comes a never-before-seen Jew hater anonymously posting comments here while bragging about what a great forum this is for it. And here you come, after posting here all of three times in two years, to immediately tsk-tsk at his behavior and cite him as proof of Ezra's prior libel.

And you expect us to believe you're not part of a setup? Please. Do a better job next time and maybe we'll fall for it.

Methadras said...

A.W. said...

meth

you also left off "sympathy as a survivor of the holocaust." because lord knows the murder of millions of jews should entitle you to a little teen ass.

I haven't seen polanski personally invoke the holocaust, but alot of his defenders have. Being the kind of person hitler genocided, i am pretty offended by them cheapening the holocaust.


Oh yeah, that's right. Thanks for the correction. I mean, really, being in the holocaust is a green light for becoming a pedo-rapist.

Methadras said...

Tidy Righty said...

The people here who are trying to label me as an anti-semite are the same people who label as racists those of us who are fight having too many Mexican illegal aliens in this country.


Oh no Jeremy, we would never do a thing like that.

I reject BOTH labels! Instead I am a strong conservative American who is willing to fight to return this country to its proud heritage.

That even sounds funny coming from you, Jeremy, I mean, Gene, I mean Michael.


Blogger Tidy Righty said...

I also thank Mrs. Ann Althouse for creating a forum were these topics can be discussed in an open and honest non-PC way.


Oh I'm sure she thanks you too.

Gene said...

Quoting Ann: Comments on new posts may be read by me and, although I sometimes delete posts for offending some rule or another, my failure to delete means nothing, and I generally encourage free speech (as well as funny and concise digressions).

a policy to live by

A.W. said...

Flexo

> If the Swiss really were a bunch of duplicitous protectors of child rapists, why did they bother to arrest him in the first place, why bother to waste their own time, their own legal resources for the last 10-11 months?

Well, obviously the position that the swiss are 100% pro rape isn’t true, but how about significant elements of their government is blasé about it, at least when celebs are involved?

> It was the L.A. officials who clearly did not want to have to actually deal with this.

Objection: assuming facts not in evidence.

> I know it is all the rage in the Age of Obama to simply make demands without having to justify them, but some places do actually require some modicum of due process.

Due process?

Here is the process he should have been due?

Did you plead guilty? Yes or no.

Did you flee before formal sentencing? Yes or no.

Even if Polanski was promised a certain sentence by the judge and somehow he was therefore entitled to serve only time served, those are arguments to be made IN America. There is nothing so broken about our system of justice that celebrities cannot get a fair shake. I mean, my God, OJ Simpson got away with murder. Robert Blake’s alibi was that he was going to his car to get his gun. And if Michael Jackson was Michael Johnson, i.e. a regular guy, do you think he could have beaten child molestation charges? Do you think that a normal drunk driver would only get sentenced to 90 days like Lindsay Lohan? In what alternate universe do you live in that Polanski can’t get a fair shake... in America?

A.W. said...

btw, according to the NY Post, it was the DOJ that screwed things up, not the LA DA. the LA DA never even got the request for the transcript.

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/national/flub_freed_polanski_H04tNrasYpXZzuiPKsaa5I

A.W. said...

er, okay cut and put this link back together:

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/national/

flub_freed_polanski_H04tNrasYpXZzuiPKsaa5I

Chase said...

> ® © ™

Arthur said...

buster: "Cedarford, you're wrong. Trust me. I'm a lawyer.”

Trust me. I’m a lawyer. Good one!

Polanski served at least part of a sentence that had not yet been formally imposed. Therefore, according to our extradition treaty with Switzerland, he would not be extraditable unless he were facing an additional six months or more in prison (as would be the case with any fugitive in similar circumstances). Apparently, the U.S. failed to establish that Polanski was facing six months or more, and the Swiss properly freed him.

Polanski could and should have been sentenced in absentia, which would have clarified with absolute certainty whether or not he was extraditable. But the childish and incompetent Steve Cooley (LA County District Attorney) opposed that sensible option.

The Swiss knew that many well-informed people - including all the lawyers connected with the original case - contend that a deal had been made with the judge. It doesn’t matter that buster thinks the original judge had the right to change his mind. What matters is the amount of additional time, if any, Polanski would be sentenced to serve by a California court.