Lawyers for Roman Polanski scrambled to evaluate their legal options after the Oscar-winning director was arrested in Switzerland on a 31-year-old arrest warrant for unlawful sex with a 13-year-old.
A spokeswoman for the Los Angeles district attorney’s office said they had requested the extradition, and fully expected Polanski to be sent back.
“He can fight extradition and he’ll lose,” spokeswoman Sandi Gibbons told TheWrap. “His chances are not good. There’s only one issue in extradition — is person named in the warrant that person. If it is, then he’s extradited."
Lawyers for the director acknowledged they were caught completely caught off guard by the arrest, while a spokesman for Los Angeles Superior Court said that if extradited, Polanski would go straight to sentencing.
"He’d come to the sentencing hearing where he failed to appear 30 years ago," said Alan Parachini, a spokesman for the L.A. court.
Gibbons said the D.A. had been trying to get Polanski extradited for years, but circumstances had never come together. She said the D.A. secured provisional warrants “several times,” including in recent years.
"We were unaware of any extradition being sought and separate counsel will be retained for those proceedings,” attorneys Douglas Dalton, Chad Hummel and Bart Dalton said in a statement.
Polanski, 76, owns a home in Switzerland but lives mainly in Paris.
He traveled to the country to collect a lifetime achievement award at the Zurich Film Festival on Sunday evening, but was arrested on arrival at Zurich airport on Saturday night.