KRAKOW: A Polish court has decided that the US claim to extradite Roman Polański from Poland is unwarranted. The decision, which is not legally binding, was announced on 30 October 2015. The prosecutor's office can appeal the ruling.
Polanski has been preparing to direct a major historical costume drama The Dreyfus Affair in Poland, but the request by the US had complicated production plans.
"This case has put brakes on everything. We were in the middle of preparations, and we were working on this film for a long time. We were set to shoot in Warsaw," Polański said in the Polish press.
Before the verdict, the film’s producer Robert Benmussa stated, "The first is a technical condition that is up to the film studios, and already at this stage we know that this condition has been met. The second factor is of a legal nature. We need confirmation in writing that Roman Polanski’s status in Poland is that of complete security.” Polanski has both Polish and French citizenship.
The US had requested that Poland extradite Polański in January 2015 and preceded it with a motion that the director be arrested in Poland in October 2015. The Krakow prosecutor's office decided that the arrest was not necessary. The filmmaker was interrogated in Krakow on 14 January 2015 and handed himself over to the extradition procedure stating that he "trusts the Polish justice system." After a series of interrogations and trials, the court was supposed to give a decision in September but was forced postpone the verdict until 30 October 2015 because of new documents from USA and Switzerland that were introduced by Polański's defenders at the last trial. The judge in the case, Dariusz Mazur, explained his ruling by stating, "A settlement was made with Roman Polański before the US court. This settlement stated that the accused plead guilty to one charge and the rest was remitted.(...) The range of responsibility was set, but not the extent of punishment." He concluded that the US motion to extradite the Polish director was unwarranted.
The Dreyfus Affair is set in the late 19th and 20th century Paris with a planned budget of 35 m EUR. The shoot is planned for next spring and is expected to be filimed on location in Krakow and Warsaw. The director and producer visited Poland in June 2014, stopping at Alvernia Studios in Krakow, ATM Film in Warsaw Studio and WFDiF, pointing to them as possible locations for the project.