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Roman Polanski's Own Lawyers May Have Caused Arrest for Samantha Geimer Rape

(AP)
Photo: Roman Polanski accepting Palme d'Or for "The Pianist" at Cannes, France, May 26, 2002.

NEW YORK (CBS/AP) Roman Polanski may only have one man to blame for being arrested at a Swiss film festival over the weekend for the three decade old rape of Samantha Geimer — himself.

Photos: Roman Polanski

The Oscar-winning director's attorneys accused the Los Angeles County district attorney's office of not being serious about ever extraditing their client on 1977 child sex charges, according to a Los Angeles Times report.

The lawyers filed two separate documents with the California 2nd District Court of Appeal asking for a dismissal of all charges against Polanski, according to the Times law enforcement sources.

"The district attorney's office, in the 30 years since Mr. Polanski left the jurisdiction, has not once sought to have him extradited. If it had, there would have been a hearing regarding misconduct in this case," wrote the attorneys, Chad Hummel, Douglas Dalton and Bart Dalton, in a July 7 filing.

Polanski's attorneys filed a second document twenty days later, and raised the issue again in a footnote. "Combined with the fact that no effort has been made to extradite Mr. Polanski, the intent here is clear: Invoke a physical absence which they caused and deliberately perpetuate in order to preserve the unconstitutional status quo and never address the misconduct head on," Hummel, Dalton and Dalton wrote, according to the Times.

The Los Angeles County district attorney's office said Monday it had multiple contacts with several countries in efforts to arrest the Academy Award-winning filmmaker, including once with Israel as recently as 2007.

However, Times sources close to the case told the paper that the filings on Polanski's behalf prompted the DA's office to re-examine how they might catch Polanski.

Polanski has been the subject of an INTERPOL "red notice" for years, said Chief Inspector Thomas Hession of the U.S. Marshals Service, which has a Los Angeles-based task force that requested the Polanski warrant last week.

The notice from the international police agency tells other countries that the person is wanted for a specific crime, and that the U.S. is willing to seek that person's extradition if the suspect is caught.

Hession said Polanski's arrest came now because authorities had the advance knowledge and the opportunity. He denied any suggestion law enforcement officials passed over similar opportunities in previous years.

"The idea that we have known where he is and we could have gotten him anytime, that just isn't the case," Hession said. "We have to do it legally. We have to know somebody is in that location before we ask that country to do something."

Photos: Roman Polanski

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  • Sammy Saltzman

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