THE CASE OF ROMAN POLANSKI

3 10 2009

 

DAVID DASTYCH

DAVID DASTYCH

 

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A Very Short Bio: David M. Dastych, 68, a professional journalist for over 40 years, specializing in international relations; worked in many countries of the World (Eastern Europe, Middle East, Far East, North America); is also professional translator and political analyst. From 1961 to 1987, covert intelligence operative (the Polish Intelligence and the CIA), specializing in nuclear proliferation problems; imprisoned by the then Polish Communist regime (1987-1990) ; monitoring illegal nuclear trade in Europe and Asia in the 1990s. Now, based in Poland, he writes and translates for the Polish top-notch weekly magazine “Wprost” and operates his own David’s Media Agency, offering best foreign authors to the Polish media and book publishers. E-mail contact: davids@aster.pl; intelhand@gmail.com Phone: +48 22 408 27 87 Cell phone : +48 514 270 639 Web site : http://www.canadafreepress.com


 

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SEPTEMBER 30, 2009 5:37AM

THE CASE OF ROMAN POLANSKI

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DAVID M. DASTYCH
Journalist, media agency owner
Warsaw, Poland (EU)
Phone: +48-22-408 27 87
Cell Phone: +48 514 270 639
david.dastych@aster.pl
Skype: davids.media.agency (for Skype users)
My Blog: “David’s Den”
www.canadafreepress.com/davidsden/
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Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Dear Reader of this Newsletter,

    The case of ROMAN POLANSKI, a world-famous film director, producer and actor, arrested in Zurich, Switzerland on September 26, 2009 for a crime commited 31 years ago is top news and comment in the media of many countries. In my article, written for and published by CANADA FREE PRESS in Toronto yesterday, I just summed up some facts without making any definitive judgment.

   The unpunished crime (rape of a minor) remains a crime, a stain on the biography of this outstanding man, who’s 76 by now. The Polanski Case is not a unual one. It should have been solved, ended by verdict many years ago, or prescribed. I hope that it will be closed soon now.

   A column by a Washington Post journalist, Mrs. ANNE APPLEBAUM, quoted below, was written and published just a day or two after Polanski’s arrest. It’s very emotional and many readers criticized it as she took the culprit’s side. But I think all circumstances and arguments should be considered. 

   A reader from the U.S.A. also expressed a critical opinion about my article . I include that opinion here (below).

   After having written my article, I have heard about one more possible legal solution of the Polanski Case. As Roman Polanski is a French and also a Polish citizen, Poland could possibly claim his extradition from Switzerland and he might be tried in Poland, on a case documentation supplied to a Polish Court by the United States. In Poland crimes of that sort are to be prescribed and 31 years’ lap of time is even more than required for prescription. Perhaps that could solve the problem and ROMAN POLANSKI, an old man now, could avoid being prosecuted by the U.S. justice. 

   DAVID DASTYCH  

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Rape of a minor, 13 year-old-girl

A Fugitive at his Own Will – Roman Polanski

David M. Dastych  Bio

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 By David Dastych  Tuesday , September 29, 2009

I have been following the Polanski case for the last few days, since his arrest in Zurich, Switzerland, on the 26th of September 2009. This is a very strange arrest, after 31 years since his crime (1977).

On September 29, a spokeswoman for Department of Justice (DoJ) told a Polish TV channel that most probably Polanski’s arrest in Switzerland was caused by a blunt letter of his French lawyers to the Prosecuting Attorney’s Office of California.

As the crime (a rape of a minor, 13 year-old-girl) is 31 years old, and as Polanski is still chased for it, as he has fled from the U.S.A. before the trial, his French lawyers demanded that the case be closed as prescribed. But the U.S. law allegedly has no prescription for such crimes.
 
  Roman Polanski is a French citizen and he owns a house in Switzerland and has visited that country very often without any harrassment. But probably that unfortunate demand of his lawyers to the California Public Prosecutor’s Office caused that the case was “unearthed” again and an arrest warrant was issued.

  The timing was perfect: Polanski was to receive a top prize, Lifetime Achievement Award, at a Zurich Film Festival for the whole of his undoubfully great artistic achievements. His arrival to Zurich was made public in advance. He was arrested at the airport and put in jail (“a provisional detention”), awaiting extradiction to the U.S.A.
 
  The film media, his fans and many public officials in Europe, the U.S.A., and also in Poland have been shocked. But from the legal side, the arrest holds water. In spite of public protests in many countries of the world, the famous film director has to await the extradiction procedure. He might be probably released from detention on bail but still he has to stay in Zurich and show in court.
 
Roman Polanski is 76 years old by now and he has a French wife and two children. Since that crazy party in Hollywood in 1977, he never commited any crime but became world-famous for his excellent work as film director, producer and actor. His first Hollywood movie was Rosemary’s Baby (1968), followed by Chinatown (1973). Chinatown is considered Polanski’s greatest achievement as a filmmaker. After fleeing to Europe, he made Tess (1979), For Tess, Polanski won French César Awards for Best Picture and Best Director and received his fourth Academy Award nomination. In 2002 Polanski released The Pianist, a World War II-set adaptation of the autobiography of the same name by Jewish-Polish musician WÅ‚adysÅ‚aw Szpilman, whose experiences have similarities with Polanski’s own (Polanski, like Szpilman, escaped the ghetto and the concentration camps, whilst family members did not). In May 2002, the film won the Palme d’Or (Golden Palm) award at theCannes Film Festival, as well as Césars for Best Film and Best Director, and later the 2002 Academy Award for Directing. Polanski did not attend the Academy Awards ceremony in Hollywood because he would have been arrested once he set foot in the United States.

In September 2009 Polanski was awarded a lifetime achievement “Golden Icon Award” by the Zurich Film Festival, which he was travelling to receive when he was arrested on 26 September. (Wikipedia).

His personal life was not happy until he married the French actress Emmanuelle Seigner in 1989. They have two children, daughter Morgane and son Elvis, who is named after Polanski’s favorite singer, Elvis Presley. His first wife was a Polish actress Barbara Lass (née Barbara Kwiatkowska) and his second wife Sharon Tate. On August 9, 1969, Sharon Tate, who was eight months pregnant with the couple’s first child (a boy), and four others (Abigail Folger, Jay Sebring, Wojciech Frykowski, and Steven Parent) were brutally murdered by members of Charles Manson’s “Family”, who entered the Polanskis’ rented home at 10050 Cielo Drive in the Hollywood Hills intending to “kill everyone there” (Wikipedia).

In 1977, Polanski, then aged 44, became embroiled in a sex scandal involving 13-year-old Samantha Gailey (now Samantha Geimer). It ultimately led to Polanski’s guilty plea to the charge of unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor. Afraid of being jailed for life, he fled from the U.S.A. Polanski escaped initially to London on February 1, 1978, where he maintained residency. A day later he traveled on to France, where he held citizenship, avoiding the risk of extradition to the U.S. by Britain (Wikipedia).

After his arrest in Switzerland,the United States must make a formal extradition request within 40 days to have Polanski extradited and stand trial.

What will happen to Roman Polanski then? I won’t make any guess. Most probably the case will be settled finally and he might avoid prison and receive a permission to visit the United States again. This could be a positive solution. But who knows what’s in store…

 

The Outrageous Arrest of Roman Polanski

– Anne Applebaum

Of all nations, why was it Switzerland—the country that traditionally guarded the secret bank accounts of international criminals and corrupt dictators—that finally decided to arrest Roman Polanski? There must be some deeper story here, because by any reckoning the decision was bizarre—though not nearly as bizarre as the fact that a U.S. judge wants to keep pursuing this case after so many decades.

Here are some of the facts: Polanski’s crime—statutory rape of a 13-year-old girl—was committed in 1977. The girl, now 45, has said more than once that she forgives him, that she can live with the memory, that she does not want him to be put back in court or in jail, and that a new trial will hurt her husband and children. There is evidence of judicial misconduct in the original trial. There is evidence that Polanski did not know her real age. Polanski, who panicked and fled the U.S. during that trial, has been pursued by this case for 30 years, during which time he has never returned to America, has never returned to the United Kingdom., has avoided many other countries, and has never been convicted of anything else. He did commit a crime, but he has paid for the crime in many, many ways: In notoriety, in lawyers’ fees, in professional stigma. He could not return to Los Angeles to receive his recent Oscar. He cannot visit Hollywood to direct or cast a film.

He can be blamed, it is true, for his original, panicky decision to flee. But for this decision I see mitigating circumstances, not least an understandable fear of irrational punishment. Polanski’s mother died in Auschwitz. His father survived Mauthausen. He himself survived the Krakow ghetto, and later emigrated from communist Poland. His pregnant wife, Sharon Tate, was murdered in 1969 by the followers of Charles Manson, though for a time Polanski himself was a suspect.

http://voices.washingtonpost.com/postpartisan/2009/09/the_outrageous_arrest_of_roman.html” t

David M. Dastych Most recent columns

David Dastych is a former Polish intelligence operative, who served in the 1960s-1980s and was a double agent for the CIA from 1973 until his arrest in 1987 by then-communist Poland on charges of espionage. Dastych was released from prison in 1990 after the fall of communism and in the years since has voluntarily helped Western intelligence services with tracking the nuclear proliferation black market in Eastern Europe and the Middle East. After a serious injury in 1994 confined him to a wheelchair, Dastych began a second career as an
investigative journalist covering terrorism, intelligence and organized crime.

David can be reached at: davids@aster.pl
Other articles by David Dastych


Printed from: http://canadafreepress.com/index.php/article/15250

Readers’ comment:
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The title of the entry is:
A Fugitive at his Own Will – Roman Polanski

Located at:
http://www.canadafreepress.com/index.php/site/comments/a-fugitive-at-his-own-will-roman-polanski/

Posted by: The Law
Email: mjk@comcast.com
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Location: U.S.

I find it completely lacking that this article has left has twisted the facts as they are.  The charges are 2 fold.  An adult preying on a 13 yr old.. and for fleeing prosecution.

There is no limit on time or age of the crime.  Forgiveness can be had but justice must be delivered. 

All I hear about is poor Roman Polanski, hasn’t he done enough?  He hasn’t commited a crime since 1977? 

He hasn’t paid for his crimes in a court of law and I guess If I was to put myself in his shoes after 1977.. I’d be damned sure not to commit another crime too!!




 
ROMAN POLANSKI, 76 now 

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rape of a minor, film, extradition

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