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Poland Vows To Extradite Roman Polanski To Face 40-Year-Old Rape Charge

(JTA) — Poland said it will initiate efforts to extradite Roman Polanski to the United States, in an attempt to reverse a October 30 court ruling that doing so would be “obviously unlawful.”

Polanski, who is Jewish, fled the country almost four decades ago after being convicted of raping a 13-year-old girl.

Justice Minister and chief prosecutor Zbigniew Ziobro said the October ruling in a Krakow court blocking Polanski’s extradition violated Poland’s extradition agreements with the U.S., and that he will appeal it to the Supreme Court, NBC Tuesday, citing European media.

Ziobro said he disagreed with the Krakow judge’s claim that Polanski had, in effect, already been punished and criticized as “incomprehensible” the Krakow judge’s comments that Polanski would face inhumane treatment in the United States.

Polanski, who has French and Polish citizenship, lives in Paris, but has been in Poland for the past few months working on a film about the Dreyfus Affair, the anti-Semitic wrongful conviction in France that inspired Theodor Herzl’s support for Zionism.

Polanski served half of a 90-day psychiatric evaluation in prison, fleeing before he was to be sentenced for the rest of his time. The U.S. has sought his extradition from France and Switzerland.

“I can breathe now with relief,” Polanski, told reporters in November, according to The Associated Press. “I pleaded guilty. I went to prison. I have done my penalty. The case is closed.”

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