By Martin M. Sobczyk Updated Nov. 27, 2015 2:33 p.m. ET
WARSAWA prosecutor in Poland blocked on Friday Roman Polanskis extradition to the U.S., declining to appeal a court decision that sharply criticized the American legal system and bringing an end to the case.
In October, a judge at the district court in Krakow rejected a U.S. request for the Oscar-winning filmmakers extradition from Poland saying Mr. Polanski would likely be denied a fair trial in America.
In a statement on Friday, the prosecutors office said it agreed with the court, saying Mr. Polanski had settled his case in the U.S. after a 1977 conviction for sex with a minor.
The prosecutors office pointed to the courts decision, which said U.S. judges were too influenced by the public and news media to be considered impartial, while prison conditions were unacceptable, especially for an 82-year-old. It also said the U.S. judges on the case had consulted with prosecutors without Mr. Polanskis attorney being present.
According to the prosecutor and the court, the filmmakers extradition would violate the European Convention on Human Rights, an international treaty that created a system for most of Europe that seeks to protect fundamental human rights, including the right to a fair trial.
In his ruling on Oct. 30, Judge Dariusz Mazur said the only point of Mr. Polanskis extradition would be to ponder procedural intricacies from 40 years ago before U.S. courts.
Mr. Polanski, who holds dual Polish and French citizenship and spends most of his time in France, arrived in Krakow earlier this year to shoot a movie, which prompted the U.S. request.
An appeal by prosecutors in Poland would have increased the chances for the U.S. request to be granted. Had a court concluded the extradition was admissible, the final decision would have been lodged with Polands justice minister.
Officials from Polands right-leaning government, which took power this month following a parliamentary election, have said they saw no reason to give Mr. Polanski any special treatment because of professional status and recognition. Zbigniew Ziobro, the new justice minister, on Friday said he was disappointed at the prosecutors decision, which ultimately denied him the opportunity to rule on the case himself.
Mr. Polanskis case was treated by a great many Poles as the litmus test showing whether or not there are people who are better than others based on their social status, he said, calling Mr. Polanskis offense heinous.
By rejecting the U.S. request, Poland extended jurisdictions in Europewhere Mr. Polanski cant be extradited over the 1977 case. Swiss authorities in 2010 rejected a request, while France doesnt have an extradition agreement with the U.S.
Mr. Polanski, whose films include Chinatown and Rosemarys Baby, in 1977 pleaded guilty in Los Angeles to having sex with a 13-year-old girl. After taking a plea bargain, he served 42 days in the psychiatric unit of a California jail and later fled the U.S.
The filmmaker, who was born in Paris and moved with his family to his fathers native city of Krakow at the age of three, said in October that he was very happy that this matter is drawing to a close in Poland.
Write to Martin M. Sobczyk at firstname.lastname@example.org