WARSAW • Poland yesterday relaunched a procedure to extradite Oscar-winning director Roman Polanski to the United States to face sentencing over a 1977 case of statutory rape.
Justice Minister Zbigniew Ziobro said he would appeal to the Supreme Court to overturn a previous decision that Polanski should not face extradition.
"He is accused of a terrible crime against a child, the rape of a child," he told Polish public radio. Polanski's lawyer Jerzy Stachowicz said: "We won't be commenting because we don't know whether he has already done it or he is about to do it."
Last October, a local court in Krakow city ruled that Polanski should not be sent to the US, a decision prosecutors agreed was "justified". "Had Poland accepted the US extradition request, it would have violated the rights of Mr Polanski and, at the same time, the European Convention on Human Rights," judge Dariusz Mazur said then.
However, Mr Ziobro had previously described last year's ruling as "surprising" and announced a review into the decision.
The French-Polish director, 82, is wanted by the US for sentencing over the 1977 statutory rape of Samantha Geimer after a photo shoot in Los Angeles. She was 13 then. Polanski was 43.