Roman Polanski set free by Swiss authorities

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Polanksi waves goodbye to his charges.
Fucking great.
After months of deliberation, the Swiss Ministry of Justice has announced today that Roman Polanski is “a free man” in Switzerland and will not be extradited to the U.S. to face his charges for drugging and raping a 13-year old girl.
According to AP, the ministry says the reason why the extradition was rejected is because Washington declined to give them confidential testimony by Roger Gunson, who was the Los Angeles attorney in charge of the original prosecution against Polanski. But who knows if giving that information would have really resulted in his extradition as I tend to agree with Melissa that Switzerland doesn’t seem to really give a shit about the charges, saying he has come to the country for years “on good faith.”
We’re not sure what happens from here, but for now, he is a free to live in Switzerland until he enters another country where the U.S. can once again call for an extradition.
Related:
Emma Thompson to remove name from Polanski petition
Ann on Violence Against Women and the Legal System.
Jay Smooth on Polanksi
Chris Rock on Roman Polanski
Round-Up: Posts on Polanski’s Arrest

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5 Comments

  1. Jessica Lee
    Posted July 12, 2010 at 5:14 pm | Permalink

    I’m so infuriated by this verdict. It’s indredibly saddening to read about one unarmed black man who was killed for NO good reason and then to read a story about a child rapist who gets to walk free.
    What is wrong with the world?

  2. ecarden
    Posted July 12, 2010 at 11:27 pm | Permalink

    Assholes.
    No, sorry, not quite correct. Powerful assholes.

  3. Sigmund
    Posted July 13, 2010 at 12:56 am | Permalink

    There are not words to describe how angry I am about this. The Swiss Ministry should be ashamed.

  4. shana
    Posted July 14, 2010 at 2:03 pm | Permalink

    I’ve been thinking a lot lately about the role of the “justice” system in survivors’ healing processes, and as much as I think it’s shameful that Polanski’s fame seems to be helping him off the hook here, if we really want to do right by survivors, we need to first and foremost listen to them. Samantha Geimer, the survivor in this case, has repeatedly, repeatedly told everyone that she wants them to just drop this. She publicly forgave Polanski a long time ago and has filed a formal request for the prosecutors in LA to drop the charges against him. And yet one website ran a headline on July 12 that read “Roman Polanski Is Free, Samantha Geimer’s Nightmare Continues.” If you ask me, her real nightmare right now is everyone else telling her how she ought to feel, and not respecting her wishes or acknowledging her own needs for healing.
    Is our “justice” system very fucked up, and do people with status and privilege get away with heinous crimes every day just because of who they are or who the victims were? Yes, and it’s infuriating.
    But what if we shifted the focus of justice away from exclusively punitive measures and instead looked at/listened to what survivors wanted/needed in order to heal, to be whole again? I think feministing would’ve run a very different piece. There’s a place for punitive measures, for public safety and “making an example” of someone, for sure, but there’s got to be a place for healing too.

  5. Suzann
    Posted July 15, 2010 at 1:59 pm | Permalink

    Right.
    And that ‘forgiveness’ should start with a CONVICTED RAPIST – so long as he has powerful friends who can make the victims life a hell and lots of money to pay off accusers/witnesses. Plus, of course, political power and social status.
    So tell me – how much status and money does a man need to make drugging, raping, and sodomizing a 13 year old child all right in your world?
    Because me? I don’t think I’d be the forgiving type. EVER!
    (And no, it isn’t all about the single victim. Sometimes it IS about the society, and about all the other potential victims. Of Polanski, and of all the other wealthy, connected men who think that makes their impuses above all law.)

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