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Polanski Asks Appeals Court To Probe Alleged Prosecutorial Misconduct

Roman Polanski's lawyers filed papers this week asking the state's 2nd District appeals court to order an investigation into alleged misconduct involving a prosecutor and a judge during the 1977 Los Angeles trial in which the director was convicted of having sex with a 13-year-old girl.

The legal team not only wants such an inquiry, but it asked that Polanski not have to pay for it, according to the Associated Press. (And, on that point, the AP speculates about whether or not the film legend is running low on funds). The misconduct allegations are not new -- Polanski has been accusing the District Attorney's office improper contact with the now-deceased judge in the case for months -- but the call for a public investigation is a new twist.

Polanski is being held under house arrest in Switzerland as the 2nd District court considers his latest appeal to be sentenced from afar, or "in absentia."

The District Attorney's office has initiated extradition proceedings, but the Swiss will not let the Chinatown director go until the courts here rule on whether he can be sentenced from afar.

The director's legal team seems to be hoping that he can be sentenced for time served -- 42 days of psychiatric evaluation -- because that's what he agreed to under a plea bargain that went bad when the judge in the case indicated more time was possible. (Part of the misconduct allegation is that the D.A.'s office improperly lobbied the judge to be harsher on the director).

Polanski fled to Europe in 1978 and has never been back. A sentence for time served could bring him back to L.A. without handcuffs. The D.A.'s office, however, wants him to face sentencing as a returned fugitive.


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