Roman Polanski appears in court in extradition hearing


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Roman Polanski appears in court in extradition hearing
French-Polish film director Roman Polanski smiles during a conference at the Paris Book Fair on March 20, 2015. AFP PHOTO / LIONEL BONAVENTURE (Photo credit should read LIONEL BONAVENTURE/AFP/Getty Images)
French-Polish film director Roman Polanski arrives for a hearing at the regional court in Krakow on February 25, 2015. The court is to decide whether to extradite the Oscar-winning director to the United States for sentencing on charges that he raped a 13-year-old girl in 1977. AFP PHOTO / JANEK SKARZYNSKI (Photo credit should read JANEK SKARZYNSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
French-Polish film director Roman Polanski (C) is accompanied by his lawyers as he arrives for a hearing at the regional court in Krakow on February 25, 2015. The court is to decide whether to extradite the Oscar-winning director to the United States for sentencing on charges that he raped a 13-year-old girl in 1977. AFP PHOTO / JANEK SKARZYNSKI (Photo credit should read JANEK SKARZYNSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
French-Polish film director Roman Polanski (C) is accompanied by his lawyers as he arrives for a hearing at the regional court in Krakow on February 25, 2015. The court is to decide whether to extradite the Oscar-winning director to the United States for sentencing on charges that he raped a 13-year-old girl in 1977. AFP PHOTO / JANEK SKARZYNSKI (Photo credit should read JANEK SKARZYNSKI/AFP/Getty Images)
PARIS, FRANCE - JANUARY 07: Director Roman Polanski presents the Musical 'Le bal des Vampires' during the 'Vivement Dimanche' French TV Show at Pavillon Gabriel on January 7, 2015 in Paris, France. (Photo by Bertrand Rindoff Petroff/Getty Images)
Polish-French director Roman Polanski (R) and British former Formula One racing driver Jackie Stewart pose during a photocall before attending a screening of the film 'Week-end of a Champion', directed by Polanski and Frank Simon, in Monaco on December 16, 2013. AFP PHOTO / VALERY HACHE (Photo credit should read VALERY HACHE/AFP/Getty Images)
388086 07: Film Director Roman Polanski Attends A Memorial Service For Victims Of The Holocaust, April 19, 2001 In Warsaw, Poland. The Day Marked The 58Th Anniversary Of The Uprising Of The Jews Imprisoned In The Warsaw Ghetto By The Nazi Germans. Polanski Himself Escaped From The Krakow Jewish Ghetto Earlier In World War Ii And Spent The Rest Of The War Years Hiding In Polish Villages. (Photo By East News/Getty Images)
Roman Polanski and his wife Emmanuelle Seigner - Solidarity party for Egypt - 1993. (Photo by Bertrand Rindoff Petroff/Getty Images)
Emmanuelle Seigner and her husband Roman Polanski, at the European cinema awards - 1989. (Photo by Bertrand Rindoff Petroff/Getty Images)
AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS - 1st JANUARY: Film director Roman Polanski appears at a press reception in Amsterdam, Netherlands to promote his film Tess in 1979. (Photo by Gijsbert Hanekroot/Redferns)
AMSTERDAM, NETHERLANDS - 1st JANUARY: Film director Roman Polanski appears with German actress Nastassja Kinski at a press reception in Amsterdam, Netherlands to promote his film Tess in 1979. (Photo by Gijsbert Hanekroot/Redferns)
FRANCE - CIRCA 1964: Francoise Dorleac dancing with Roman Polanski. Paris, Club Saint-Hilaire. 1963. HA-1616. (Photo by Roger Viollet/Getty Images)
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KRAKOW, Poland (AP) - Filmmaker Roman Polanski appeared in a court in Poland on Wednesday for a hearing concerning a U.S. request for his extradition charges of sex with a minor, a case that has haunted him since 1977.

Judge Dariusz Mazur was not expected to make a ruling on Wednesday and scheduled another hearing, buying time to study documents that arrived this week from Switzerland, which in 2010 refused to extradite Polanski. The next hearing could be in April or sooner, according to court spokeswoman Grazyna Rokita.

Wearing a dark suit, the Oscar-winning director entered the court in Krakow with his two Polish lawyers. On the attorneys' request, the court banned media from the hearing.

Polanski, 81, is in Poland preparing to make a movie about Alfred Dreyfus, a 19th-century French army officer wrongly accused of spying.

Prosecutors in Polanski's childhood city of Krakow, where he has an apartment, have refused a U.S. request to arrest him, but have said there are no legal obstacles to his extradition and have asked the court for a ruling.

If the judge refuses to hand Polanski over, the case is closed. If he allows the extradition, the final decision will belong to the justice minister.

The Oscar-winning director, whose works include "The Pianist" and "Chinatown," is a celebrity in Poland, where many politicians have indicated reluctance to hand him over, arguing he has already paid a heavy price and repented for what he did.

An Interpol warrant for Polanski's arrest is in effect in 188 countries. He avoids extradition by traveling only between France, Poland and Switzerland. He has French and Polish passports.

In 1977, Polanski pleaded guilty to unlawful sexual intercourse with a 13-year-old girl. He served 42 days in jail as part of a plea bargain but fled the United States on the eve of his sentencing the following year.

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