Polanski petitioning for release, again
US attorneys for Roman Polanski have made a fresh petition to drop the criminal case against the filmmaker, saying the 1977 case was unfair.india Updated: Mar 19, 2010 18:39 IST
Polanski's lawyers petitioned a California appellate court citing secret "communication" between two top officials in the district attorney's office and the original judge in the case, Laurence Rittenband, according to the Times.
The famed director is under house arrest in Switzerland over the decades-old case and has been held since September on a US arrest warrant for having unlawful sex with a 13-year-old girl three decades ago.
Swiss authorities have yet to rule on whether to grant a US request to extradite him.
Polanski, 76, had already asked that the charges be dropped because the trial was unfair, but a court rejected that request in December.
In the new court filing, Polanski's attorneys said the prosecutor on the case, Roger Gunson, wanted the judge to be disqualified from the case, the Times said.
The Oscar-winning filmmaker fled the United States 32 years ago before being sentenced in the child sex case.
Polanski is alleged to have given his victim champagne and drugs during a 1977 photo shoot at the Hollywood Hills home of actor friend Jack Nicholson before having sex with her despite her protests.
He was initially charged with six felony counts, including rape and sodomy. The charge was later reduced to unlawful sexual intercourse after a plea deal agreed in part to spare his victim the ordeal of a trial.
A Los Angeles judge denied Polanski's bid to be sentenced in absentia in January. His lawyers have signaled they would appeal the ruling.
First Published: Mar 19, 2010 17:02 IST