Prosecutors have said they won't file an appeal to have filmmaker Roman Polanski sent to the US on charges of sexually abusing a young teen. The charges prompted the director to flee to Europe four decades ago.
Poland's appellate prosecutor's office upheld an October court ruling voiding the US extradition request for Oscar-winning filmmaker Roman Polanski, saying it found no justification in its appeal after a reexamination of the evidence. The ruling is now final and legally binding.
A lawyer for Polanski expressed "great relief." The decision, he said, makes it "possible for Polanski to start making a planned film in Poland."
Polanski was convicted by the US on charges of sexually abusing a child after he plead guilty to having sex with a 13-year old girl during a 1977 photo shoot in Los Angeles. He spent 43 days in jail after making a plea bargain and then fled to Europe fearing a much harsher punishment.
The US called for his extradition in 2014 after Polanski made a high-profile appearance in Poland.
Four decades after the incident, the victim in the case said the long exile was punishment was enough. Polanski lives in Paris and owns an apartment in Krakow.
The case, brought forward by Krakow prosecutors, nonetheless brought on a sharply polarized response.
The judge acknowledged that the case was complicated but accepted the defense's argument that Polanski had dutifully served his prison time as mandated. He also feared that 82-year-old Polanski's human rights were in jeopardy if he were subjected to confinement.
jtm/kms (AP, Reuters)