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British Court Kindly Paves Way for Child Rapist

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  • British Court Kindly Paves Way for Child Rapist

    Okay, I'm a bit peeved by an article I read about a week ago regarding well-known child rapist Roman Polanski. Cast your peepers on this:

    Polanski Beaming Lawsuit to London

    by Charlie Amter
    Feb 10, 2005, 5:40 PM PT


    Roman Polanski wants to reach out and sue somebody.

    The Oscar-winning director scored a precedent-setting court ruling Thursday in England that allows him to proceed with his libel lawsuit against Vanity Fair magazine via satellite from France.

    Polanski, who pleaded guilty to the statutory rape of a 13-year-old girl in the 1970s while living in California, only to flee prior to sentencing, would face extradition to the U.S. if he attended the London court proceedings.

    Now, England's highest court has paved the way for Polanski's suit to move forward; the Chinatown director can testify via a videoconferencing link from his home in Paris.
    SOURCE: http://www.eonline.com/News/Items/0,1,15906,00.html

    All I can say is WHAT... THE... HELL!? Here's a guy who plied a 13-year old girl with drugs and alcohol, sodomized her, plead guilty and then ran from justice. And he wants to sue a magazine for reporting about is escapades!? And the British court is making concessions so that he can do this without having to leave the safety of France (where extradition is outlawed).

    This is such a mockery of justice it makes me sick.

    Note that Vanity Fair is in the US, Polanski is in France, and the lawsuit is being held in Britain. 8O

    Can anyone explain this to me? Why does this sicko get to have it his way?
    "Wounds are all I'm made of. Did I hear you say that this is victory?"
    --Michael Moorcock, Veteran of the Psychic Wars

  • #2
    Irrelevant detail but I'm that anal: France has a very efficient extradition treaty with the US. Just, nationals do not get extradited. Polanski was born in Paris and therefore has french nationality.

    Comment


    • #3
      Ah, good to know, mordenkainen.

      So, you're as baffled by this bullsh*t as I am, eh?
      "Wounds are all I'm made of. Did I hear you say that this is victory?"
      --Michael Moorcock, Veteran of the Psychic Wars

      Comment


      • #4
        I'm not sure. he sues VF for telling a story of how he seduced a woman by telling her he would make her "another Sharon Tate"- this, just days after Tate was murdered and Polanski returned to Hollywood for the funeral. Much as one despises the bugger, it's hard to believe he could have said something like that. And if it was invented by the journalist, it shows VERY bad taste.

        Originally posted by Lewis Lapham
        The thing about Elaine's, is that nobody will allow himself to be impressed by anybody. You could say, 'I just sold 17,000 copies of my book today', and they'd ask what you did yesterday. The only time I ever saw people gasp in Elaine's was when Roman Polanski walked in just after his wife Sharon Tate had been viciously murdered by the Manson clan. I was sitting at a table with a friend of mine who had brought the most gorgeous Swedish girl you ever laid eyes on. I don't think I've ever seen a more beautiful woman. Polanski came over and asked to join us. It turned out that Polanski had been in London when the atrocity took place, and he was on his way back to Hollywood for the burial. The Swedish beauty was sitting next to me. Polanski pulled up a chair and inserted himself between us, immediately focusing his attention on the beauty, inundating her with his Polish charm. Fascinated by his performance, I watched as he slid his hand inside her thigh and began a long, honeyed spiel which ended with the promise 'And I will make another Sharon Tate out of you

        Re: trial by videoconference, the reasons given by Lord Nicholls make sense:


        Originally posted by Lord Nicholls
        a fugitive from justice is not as such precluded from enforcing his rights through the courts of this country. This is so whether the fugitive is claimant or defendant. Mr Polanski's status as a fugitive offender does not deprive him of any rights he would otherwise possess in respect of the subject matter of this action. His flight from California in 1978, and the steps he has taken ever since to remain beyond the reach of the Californian court, do not preclude him from bringing proceedings in England in respect of damage to his reputation flowing from publication of defamatory material in this country.
        At first sight this may seem unattractive. It may seem unattractive that a person can, at one and the same time, evade justice in respect of his criminal conduct and yet seek the assistance of the courts in protection of his own civil rights. But the contrary approach, adopted in the name of the public interest, would lead to wholly unacceptable results in practice. It would mean that for so long as a fugitive remained 'on the run' from the criminal law, his property and other rights could be breached with impunity. That could not be right. Such harshness has no place in our law. Mr Polanski is not a present-day outlaw. Our law knows no principle of fugitive disentitlement.
        I'm definitely not in favor of depriving ALL fugitives of the possibility to enforce ALL their rights, forever.
        then again...I dunno.

        Comment


        • #5
          I understand PWV's indignation, but for me, this issue isn't about Polanski's legal status with respect to his flight from prosecution in the state of California. The issue is whether or not Vanity Fair committed libel. Polanski's assertion is that they did so.

          It is not a slam-dunk that Polanski will win the case in Britain. I don't know enough of the "facts" of the case -- I've seen only the assertions by both sides.

          If Polanski wins the case, the next question is what penalty the British courts will impose on VF. Might they do something symbolic, and impose damages of 1 pound sterling? Just a passing thought.

          LSN

          Comment


          • #6
            I completely disagree with everything Lord Nicholls said in mordenkainen's quote. It's total rubbish. Polanski does not deserve any quarter at all. It makes no sense that he should run from justice but expect justice to defend him on a different front.

            But, gee, that's how I feel about creeps who find it enjoyable to drug and bugger a 13-year-old in the bum against her will. I guess I'm just funny that way.
            "Wounds are all I'm made of. Did I hear you say that this is victory?"
            --Michael Moorcock, Veteran of the Psychic Wars

            Comment


            • #7
              I understand your feelings, but Justice is not supposed to have any.
              Which is why I wouldn't want to be a judge.
              complicated issue....

              Comment


              • #8
                Feelings or no, I can't get on board with this one-sided justice. He is a vile criminal who has not paid his debt for his crimes buts wants others to pay him for theirs? He cannot be tried but he can sue someone else? I guess I'll never understand...
                "Wounds are all I'm made of. Did I hear you say that this is victory?"
                --Michael Moorcock, Veteran of the Psychic Wars

                Comment


                • #9
                  It does seem particulalry unfair and strange. If he had served his time, then perhaps it would be different, but the fact that he is a fugitive from justice should really prevent him using the mechanism of justice for his own gain. That aside, I also find it strange that he should be able to sue anyone for recounting an anecdote which implies that he, a rapist, might be insensitive. Surely we can infer insensitivity from the fact he raped a minor?

                  Clearly I'm no legal expert, but come the Dorset revolution, this case wouldn't even get near a court. Obviously the case should be argued on whether or not the allegation is true, but at the end of the day, even if it were found to be true, I think the callous flirting would still be overshadowed by the actual crime he admitted to committing.
                  "That which does not kill us, makes us stranger." - Trevor Goodchild

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I didn't realise the crime he had committed was so dreadful. I think I had assumed it was some kind of technicality. Frankly, this is appalling, isn't it? British justice bending over backwards to serve what is commonly known over here as a 'nonce'. What the f***?

                    Libel is a privilege of the rich in any case. The vast majority of us are not fortunate enough to have reputations that can be damaged. What I would like to see is for Vanity Fair to publish full details of his admitted crime, testimony from the victim, etc - then every scummy tabloid in Britain can repeat the sordid details for the gratification of their readers and expose him for the scum that he is.

                    I'm sure The Daily (Hate) Mail is working on it this minute. He's not doing himself any favours. But I suspect he just wants the cash. :x Throw it out of court!
                    \"...an ape reft of his tail, and grown rusty at climbing, who yet feels himself to be a symbol and the frail representative of Omnipotence in a place that is not home.\" James Branch Cabell

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Applying the rule of law consistently is a cornerstone of most western legal systems. The corollary is that you judge each case on its own merits, without reference to any prior violations, unless they are considered material. Even convicted felons have civil rights. The question here is whether VF violated Polanski's rights. If VF in fact libeled him, I think they deserve to pay the penalty. I have no opinion on the merits or demerits of the case.

                      If VF's lawyers can manage to make Polanski's prior legal problems part of their case, they may succeed in swaying the court. However, many courts might be inclined to reject the introduction of such evidence as having no bearing on the truth of the case under discussion. The legal phrase is something like, "Mr. Polanski isn't on trial for his legal transgressions in California." That's another trial.

                      If you throw out the rule of law in matters like this, where are you going to draw the line? I think talking about eliminating peoples' civil rights -- under whatever pretext -- is a dangerous, somewhat totalitarian line of reasoning. :(

                      LSN

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        OK - points taken. Law is one thing, and justice another, and in some cases this is necessarily so. But the issue we can extract here is whether there is a suitable case for making video evidence admissable in this instance. Generally it is only done to protect the vulnerable, eg child victims. Why for Polanski? All he has to fear is a fair trial.

                        Also - I'm confused. Polanski is, I gather, a French citizen. Vanity Fair is a US publication. How does Britain come into the equation anyway? :?
                        \"...an ape reft of his tail, and grown rusty at climbing, who yet feels himself to be a symbol and the frail representative of Omnipotence in a place that is not home.\" James Branch Cabell

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by LSN
                          Applying the rule of law consistently is a cornerstone of most western legal systems. The corollary is that you judge each case on its own merits, without reference to any prior violations, unless they are considered material. Even convicted felons have civil rights. The question here is whether VF violated Polanski's rights. If VF in fact libeled him, I think they deserve to pay the penalty. I have no opinion on the merits or demerits of the case.
                          Oh, okay, so they won't consider his past crime when it comes to whether he can have this case, but they do consider it when it comes to where he has to physically be when the case is going? They're making special arrangements because of his past crime. They wouldn't have to make these arrangements otherwise, so how is that not setting a double standard?

                          I stand firm. This is wrong. He shouldn't be allowed to sue Vanity Fair unless he comes to the US and does it. THAT would be fair. To make special concessions so he can carry out his lawsuit against an American company without having to leave the sanctity of France is absurd.
                          "Wounds are all I'm made of. Did I hear you say that this is victory?"
                          --Michael Moorcock, Veteran of the Psychic Wars

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Mikey_C
                            Also - I'm confused. Polanski is, I gather, a French citizen. Vanity Fair is a US publication. How does Britain come into the equation anyway?
                            VF has offices in Britain; he's suing the British branch (presumably because he figured it would be easier to convince a Brit judge to make these special accommodations for him).
                            "Wounds are all I'm made of. Did I hear you say that this is victory?"
                            --Michael Moorcock, Veteran of the Psychic Wars

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Wikipedia
                              Polanski was initially charged with rape, suspicion of sodomy, child molestation and furnishing dangerous drugs to a minor; however, these charges were eventually reduced to statutory rape at the request of the victim's mother to avoid a trial. It was alleged the director drugged her with quaaludes and alcohol, and then proceeded to have sexual intercourse with her. The sister of the girl heard her reporting the fact of sexual intercourse to her friend over the phone. When Gemier's mother reported the incident to the police, Polanski fled the United States but returned later to face the charges.

                              On February 1, 1978, after pleading guilty to the charges, Polański skipped bail and fled to France. France has a policy not to extradite its own citizens, which is reflected in the extradition treaty between France and the United States. As a consequence, American requests of extradition could not be heeded. It was possible, however, for the US government to request Polanski's prosecution by the French authorities. (The Washington Post, February 3, 1978). Likewise the United States could still request the arrest and extradition of Polanski from other countries, should he visit them. As a consequence, Polanski has since avoided visits to countries that were likely to extradite him. In 2004, he sued Vanity Fair magazine in London, but asked to be able to provide evidence over a video link rather than to show up in person in the United Kingdom, which would put him at risk of extradition to the United States.

                              In a 2003 interview, Samantha Geimer said that "I'm sure if he could go back, he wouldn't do it again. He made a terrible mistake but he's paid for it."
                              Originally posted by www.eonline.com
                              Geimer, who lives with her family in Hawaii, says it's fine with her. "I really wish this would be over, that he would reach agreement with the courts, no longer be a fugitive."

                              She also tells Inside Edition that she wouldn't call the episode rape, but the sex was not consensual. "I perceived it as he made me have sex with him," she says. "The word 'rape' always brings to mind for me a level of...violence that wasn't there."
                              Originally posted by The Times
                              Polanski was once feted in Hollywood, but his career was damaged by a series of sexual indiscretions. He became a fugitive from American justice in 1977 when he was charged with the statutory rape of Samantha Geimer, a would-be model, who was then aged 13.

                              The incident took place during a photo shoot at the home of Jack Nicholson, the actor. Polanski agreed to plead guilty. He was on bail awaiting sentence when he decided to flee the country and has not returned to America or Britain since.

                              Geimer, now a 40-year-old mother of three, has publicly forgiven Polanski. Prosecutors say he will definitely have to spend time in prison for the rape charge if he ever returns.

                              Polanski partly redeemed his reputation two years ago with the making of the Holocaust film The Pianist, which won three Oscars. The film drew on the traumas he had suffered when, as a boy of nine, he escaped from the Jewish ghetto in Cracow.

                              Polanski’s High Court libel case is likely to confirm London’s reputation as the libel capital of the world. Vanity Fair is an American magazine, but Polanski is not suing there because the country has more restricted libel laws. American plaintiffs have to prove “actual malice� in order to succeed.

                              Fighting the case in Britain was a risk for Polanski. Schillings, his lawyers, had warned him that appearing in person might lead to his immediate arrest and his eventual extradition to America.

                              Editors at Vanity Fair had hoped that Polanski would pull out of the case after the Court of Appeal overturned a ruling by the trial judge that allowed Polanski to testify by video link. But four months ago the law lords ruled by a 3-2 majority that he could give evidence from Paris. He will become the first person to bring a contested libel claim in an English court by giving evidence via a video-link.

                              Now a French citizen, he lives in Paris with his wife, the French actress Emmanuelle Seigner, who he met when he was 53 and she was 18. They have two children.
                              Make of that what you will.
                              _"For an eternity Allard was alone in an icy limbo where all the colours were bright and sharp and comfortless.
                              _For another eternity Allard swam through seas without end, all green and cool and deep, where distorted creatures drifted, sometimes attacking him.
                              _And then, at last, he had reached the real world – the world he had created, where he was God and could create or destroy whatever he wished.
                              _He was supremely powerful. He told planets to destroy themselves, and they did. He created suns. Beautiful women flocked to be his. Of all men, he was the mightiest. Of all gods, he was the greatest."

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