U.S. Formally Asks for Polanski Extradition


CNN reports that the United States has formally asked Switzerland to extradite film director Roman Polanski.

The Academy Award-winning director was arrested in Switzerland last month on a U.S. arrest warrant stemming from a 1977 sex case involving a 13-year-old girl. He is fighting extradition.

The maximum sentence Polanski can receive for the crime in question in California is two years.

The U.S. Embassy in Berne submitted the formal extradition request to Switzerland’s Federal Office of Justice on Thursday night. Swiss justice officials will now forward the extradition request to the Canton of Zurich, where Polanski is being held, so an extradition hearing can be held.

If a decision is made for Polanski to be extradited, the director may appeal to the Federal Criminal Court.

Polanski pleaded guilty in August 1977 to having unlawful sex with a 13-year-old girl five months earlier. Polanski fled the country before he was sentenced, after he learned the judge might not go along with the short jail term he expected to get from a plea agreement.