Poland fails to arrest Roman Polanski... again

Convicted child rapist and pedophile Roman Polanski found himself once again briefly detained by authorities in Poland this week. And yet again, he was released despite requests from the United States to hold him for extradition. But before getting to the details, it’s worth pausing for a moment to note how CNN chose to describe the situation.

Famed film director Roman Polanski, wanted in the United States for having sex with a minor in the 1970s, was questioned this week by Polish authorities but allowed to leave after the interview.

Yes, I suppose you could choose to say that he was “wanted for having sex with a minor.” Or, another way you might put it would be to say that Polanski is an escaped fugitive from justice who plead guilty and was convicted of raping and sodomizing a child after drugging her. But I suppose I’m just quibbling over semantics here.

A spokesman for the Polish Prosecutor General’s office said Thursday that authorities there didn’t believe it was necessary to hold him in custody while the United States seeks to extradite him.

Mateusz Martyniuk told CNN that Poland received a request from U.S. officials to arrest Polanski, and the Oscar winning filmmaker came Wednesday to the office in Krakow.

“(The matter) was not sent to the court that could impose a temporary arrest because the prosecution did not find basis for that,” Jan Olszewski, one of Polanski’s attorneys, told CNN affiliate TVN24, according to the network’s translation.

Clearly the Poles – supposedly our allies – could turn this pervert over to the United States if there was any will whatsoever to do so. But they clearly will not. The Swiss won’t hand him over. And the French – also allegedly on our side – allow him to show up at Cannes year after year to receive awards and promote whatever latest piece of trash he has filmed in Europe. We’re running out of “allies” across the pond at this point who might be willing to help bring Polanski to justice.

I give credit to the Department of Justice for at least making the effort to put in requests to get him back, but beyond filing some paperwork, the effort seems tepid at best. Perhaps they are influenced by the galaxy of stars right here in the US who constantly rally to Polanski’s defense, as well as being huge political donors to the Democrats. When the pedophile was being detained in Switzerland in 2009, a collection of the glitterati signed a petition demanding his release. These included:

Woody Allen, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Martin Scorcese, David Lynch, Wong Kar Wai, Harmony Korine, Stephen Frears, Alexander Payne, Michael Mann, Wim Wenders, Tilda Swinton, Julian Schnabel, and Pedro Almodovar are among the 100 and counting film industry figures who have signed the petition, coordinated from France by the SACD, an organization which represents performance and visual artists.

At this point it honestly looks like a hopeless proposition. It seems that Polanski will get away with a crime arguably as bad as bloody murder and get to live out his increasingly long life in luxury, traveling from one glamorous event to the next with his supermodel wife who is nearly young enough to be his granddaughter. And with no help from any of our supposed friends in Europe, there is apparently not a thing we can do about it.