Setback for Polanski: Testimony Remains Sealed - NBC Southern California

Setback for Polanski: Testimony Remains Sealed



    Setback for Polanski: Testimony Remains Sealed
    Director Roman Polanski is finishing a film from his prison cell where he is fighting extradition charges for a 1977 sex charge.

    Filmmaker Roman Polanski has lost another court battle -- this one a request to unseal closed-door testimony given earlier this year by Roger Gunson, a retired prosecutor who had been assigned to Polanski’s case for 25 years.

    Polanski’s lawyers claimed those transcripts would show that prosecutors have relied on “false statements” in seeking his extradition from Switzerland in his 33 year old sex case.

    Attorney Chad S. Hummel argued today that “no valid interests were being protected” by keeping the testimony sealed, and said that unless the judge unsealed the documents, “the information presented to the Swiss by our district attorney is not complete.

    Judge Peter Espinoza said the Swiss Ministry of Justice has indicted no interest in seeing Gunson's testimony and added that he believes Swiss authorities `have the information they need'' to make a decision on the extradition request.

    Los Angeles County prosecutors have disputed the defense's claim that the District Attorney's Office misrepresented information to Swiss officials.

    Polanski pleaded guilty in 1977 to unlawful sexual intercourse with a 13- year-old girl. He fled to France in 1978 before he could be sentenced

    In January, Espinoza denied Polanski's request to be sentenced without returning to the United States.

    For now, the film-maker remains under house arrest at his ski chalet in the Switzerland.