A Polish court has set September 22 as the date for Roman Polanski’s next extradition hearing. The move is the latest in a decades-long attempt by U.S. Justice Department officials to have the now-82-year-old filmmaker extradited to the U.S. to carry out a sentence first issued in 1977 after he pled guilty to unlawful sexual intercourse with a 13-year-old during a photoshoot for French Vogue.
Polanski is expected to appear before a judge at the new hearing after U.S. legal documents requested by the court last May finally arrived. At that time, the court adjourned proceedings, saying it needed more legal assistance from American authorities to consider documents submitted by Polanski’s lawyers before making a decision.
The latest attempts to have Polanski extradited were sparked in October last year when U.S. officials asked Polish prosecutors to question Polanski while in the country working on a film. He was eventually released, but U.S. authorities filed a formal extradition request in January this year in Poland. A previous attempt in 2009 by American authorities to have Polanski arrested saw the director arrested and detained while en route to the Zurich Film Festival. He was released the following year.
Polanski fled to Europe in 1978 after accusing the then-presiding judge of reneging on an alleged agreement for the time he had spent undergoing a psychiatric study at the state prison in Chino, CA — 42 days out of a 90 day sentence — to count as time served. Instead, Polanski and his lawyers allege they discovered the judge, Laurence J. Rittenbrand, intended to send Polanski back to jail.