UPDATE 6th Oct: Swiss Justice Ministry refuses to release Polanski pending a decision on exradition
According to the Ministry, there’s still a high risk that Polanski might go on the run if released from custody.
The French government has dropped its support for Polanski saying he is ‘neither above nor beneath the law’. Puzzled by the language? Moi ausi. Poland is equivocating in its earlier support for Polanski, and Labour MP Denis MacShane has called on the Council of Europe to support Polanski’s extradition to the USA, saying that the film-maker “should be held accountable” for his actions.
From CBC News: “In fact, earlier this year, well before Polanski’s arrest in Switzerland, she (the victim, Samantha Geimer) filed a formal appeal to the Los Angeles prosecutor’s office asking for the charges to be dropped. A few years ago, she sued the filmmaker and received an undisclosed settlement.”
Comment at end
30th September, 2009
WHAT GHOSTLY INTEREST DO POLANSKI, HARRIS, FREARS & CO SHARE?
Stephen Frears – he of the “chop off (Blair’s) head and stick it on a spear” infamy (see here), has spoken out in support of Roman Polanski, following the latter’s arrest in Switzerland for his conviction for the admitted rape of a child over 30 years ago.
Yes, you read it right.
A film director (Frears) is supporting another film director (Polanski) who admitted abusing a child and is a convicted, fugitive rapist.
This Frears – a one-man horror show – is the film director who wants summary justice meted out to our former prime minister. No trial of course, before the death penalty. Just an everyday beheading and a display of the bloody consequences in the public square. Despite there being no capital punishment in Britain or Europe even for convicted criminals, Frears’ hope is for Tony Blair to get his ‘just’ desserts.
But for Polanski – ah, well, that’s different.
It surely is. VERY different.
Frears and his luvvie likes have long been free in the freedom-loving west to incite the murder of a politician or of any individual they happen to dislike. I consider that a weakness in our freedom of expression laws. With a film like this many half-sane and gullible individuals could interpret it as a free pass to do as they see fit, and “right wrongs”. Try the same trick in many of the Middle Eastern countries they constantly claim to represent and these artistes would part company with their heads in no time.
But when it comes to supporting a convicted child-molesting criminal who happens to be one of them, well, PURLE-E-E-E-ASE!
Let’s not complicate things by bringing morals and justice into this.
It’s suddenly all about artistic freedom.
What a load of self-serving codswallop!!!!
‘GHOST’ WRITER ROBERT HARRIS & FRIENDS
Yet the frightful Frears is not the only values-vacant fool supporting Polanski.
Described as “bizarre” here there are dozens of other arty types leaping to Polanski’s defence. Aren’t these the same people, on the whole, who see political decisions with which they disagree as hanging offences?
MICHAEL MANSFIELD, QC
[Aside: And today, Barrister to the Left, Michael Mansfield QC argued on Radio 4's "Today" (listen here, 6 mins) that Polanski should be released. Mansfield said, "There's a distinction to be drawn between extremely serious crimes, of the kind that might be genocide, war crimes, crimes against humanity ... and I think one has to consider how best to deploy resources ... at the moment the resources are best devolved towards investigating and solving crimes ... in Guinea, in Gaza ... which are so horrific that they need to be dealt with now. The Polanski case is a very different one ... he pleaded guilty, there was supposed to be a deal ... but where the victim herself is saying enough is enough ... this is the point where we do say as she does let's put our resources elsewhere. Prosecutors should be allowed to make discretionary decisions."]
Would Mansfield say the same if the accused fugitive were Tony Blair? No way. Never. Not ever. Even if Blair were in his 70s. “Justice” would be Mansfield’s middle name.
Robert Harris, who says he is “shocked and stunned” by Roman Polanski’s arrest, possesses a lively imagination. Harris’s interest? His book, ‘The Ghost’ is his attempt to destroy the reputation of Tony Blair. It is also the basis of Polanski’s present unfinished work.
The novel is clearly part of Harris’s personal bitter animus towards Mr Blair, and part of his money-making ambitions on the back of others’ political abilities. All very palatable to the gullible, just desperate to swallow it all unquestioningly as they part with their pennies.
And, some might say, useful stuff to hit the airwaves just as the Iraq war Inquiry gets underway.
This movie, like ‘The Trial of Tony Blair’, is designed to satisfy and strengthen the mind-wandering delusions of conspiracy theorists everywhere to the point of their even greater delusion and worse, the muddying and distortion of the real truth.
‘The Ghost’ ends with the once highly popular British prime minister being blown to smithereens by the father of a soldier killed in an ‘illegal’ war. But before the unfortunate former PM meets his untimely but obviously deserved end, he discovers that his wife of 30 years has been double-crossing both him and Britain and has been a long-time American secret agent.
A kind of double shattering.
Ooops! Sorry. Have I inadvertently let slip the ending?
Didn’t spoil it for you, did I?
Never mind. That means you can avoid spending your money on watching this cra… carping insult to living people.
I’M NOT INTO CONSPIRACIES, BUT I DO HOPE THE STALLING OF ‘THE GHOST’ IS ONE
It’s purely co-incidental, of course, that Roman Polanski is the director and Robert Harris the writer of the book upon which the film “The Ghost” is based. And purely tough luck that Roman Polanski’s arrest in Switzerland has left his latest film in limbo. More here
Roman Polanski’s wife has asked a host of film stars to join her fight to prevent the director being extradited to America. The 76-year-old Oscar-winner – who fled the US to France in 1978 after being convicted of unlawful sex with a minor – was arrested on Saturday in Zurich, Switzerland, and faces being sent back to the US so his actress wife Emanuelle Seigner has begun compiling a petition calling for his release.
Emmanuelle … is hoping A-list stars and important figures in the film industry will sign the sign the petition.
“Emmanuelle is outraged. She is rallying friends and colleagues from many years in the film industry.”
British director Stephen Frears …. and writer Robert Harris have already spoken out in support and Emmanuelle is convinced more stars will show their support.
In 1977, Roman pleaded guilty to charges of having underage sex with 13-year-old Samantha Gailey, now known as Samantha Geimer. He believed he would face a jail term of just 42 days, and claimed a judge had reneged on a plea bargain deal to reduce the charges from rape and serious sexual assault if he admitted under-age sex.
Polanski – director of a host of acclaimed movies, including 1968’s ‘Rosemary’s Baby’ – plied Samantha with alcohol and sedatives while photographing her for a magazine shoot at actor Jack Nicholson’s Hollywood home. Nicholson was not present at the time of the incident. Read more here
- The Guardian on the Polanski petition:
‘France’s Society of Film Directors joined in the chorus of disapproval, voicing concern that the arrest “could have disastrous consequences for freedom of expression across the world”.
Polish film-makers called on their government to prevent a “judicial lynching”, while more than 100 Swiss artists and intellectuals have signed a separate petition demanding Polanski’s release.’
A “judicial lynching”? As opposed to the unjudicial one they wish for Blair?
- NY Times: Harris asks – “Why arrest Polanski now”
- Huffington Post: Harris’s “self-serving, offensive disgrace” in his defence of Polanski
- Roman History – by Howard Kurtz – “No debate if he were not an artiste”
- What if Polanski were a Catholic priest?
- And another on the priest comparison
- BBC – entertainment page report
- WIBW National News
- Washington Post – Anne Applebaum – “The outrageous arrest of Polanski”
- Applebaum’s follow-up – Reaction
2. ‘THE GHOST’
- Rod Liddle: “Real Ghost is Robert Harris”
- Anthony Holden: “This one’s for you, Tony”
- Extracts from The Ghost