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Koch, Tanit

Die Welt

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Die Welt - Germany | 30/09/2009

US court decides over Polanski case, not the French cabinet

The conservative daily Die Welt criticises the French Minister of Culture Frédéric Mitterrand for saying publicly that Polish filmmaker Roman Polanski should be set free. Polanski was arrested while entering Switzerland, which has an extradition treaty with the US where Polanski has been a wanted man since he pleaded guilty to unlawful sexual intercourse with a 13-year-old girl in 1978: "Polanski, today 76 years old, has not done anything wrong since. He does not present a danger to the general public. His crime - without wanting to play it down - was committed over thirty years ago. The prison sentence could hardly achieve its goal of expiation, and the victim (with whom a civil agreement was struck) forgave him long ago. All of these factors make a prison sentence highly questionable, and speak for closing the case altogether. However this decision is neither up to the public nor to the French cabinet, but is the sole jurisdiction of a US court. Polanski was able to accept the Academy Award in absentia. A court's verdict, on the other hand, requires all parties to be present."

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