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Oscar winning filmmaker questioned in Poland about sex charges

2014-10-31 15:10
Roman Polanski

Poland  — Prosecutors in Poland questioned filmmaker Roman Polanski on Thursday at the request of U.S. prosecutors who are seeking his arrest on charges from 1977 of having sex with a minor.

Boguslawa Marcinkowska, a spokeswoman for prosecutors in Krakow, said the filmmaker remained free but available for further interrogations. Polanski was questioned in the southern city of Krakow, where he owns an apartment.

Mateusz Martyniuk, a spokesman for the prosecutor general's office, said the U.S. requested Polanski's arrest and Polish prosecutors were expecting an extradition request.

Earlier, Deputy Foreign Minister Rafal Trzaskowski hinted that Poland would not be willing to act on a U.S. extradition request, saying that in Poland his charges have expired under the statute of limitations. Polanski has Polish and French passports.

Polanski later said on TVN24 that he believes that his Polish lawyers will have the case closed "once and for all."

He said he will be in Poland in February and March to work on a new movie. He also wants to show the country to his two children, who have not been to Poland since they were young children and "as a result don't know my motherland."

Polanski's movements are restricted by an Interpol warrant in effect in 188 countries, but he travels freely between Switzerland, France and Poland.

Polanski, who has Jewish ancestry, attended the opening in Warsaw on Tuesday of a museum of the 1 000-year history of Jewish life in Poland. He later travelled to Krakow, where he grew up.

The 81-year-old director of movies like Chinatown and the Oscar-winning The Pianist lives in Paris, where as French citizen he has immunity from U.S. justice, from which he fled in 1978. In 2010, he was freed from Swiss house arrest after that government refused to extradite him.

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