District Attorney: ‘Polanski must return to complete justice’

Steve Cooley has responded to those upset about Polanski’s detention in Switzerland, which is the first step in extraditing the Chinatown director, explaining the movie mogul must answer for his crimes.

Polanski fled Los Angeles on the eve of sentencing after he admitted to having illegal sex with a 13-year-old girl in 1977.

He has been living in France ever since, but international officials joined forces at the weekend (26Sep09) to detain the director as he attended a film festival in Switzerland, and his celebrity pals have been outraged by the undercover operation, which led to Polanski’s arrest. He is now fighting extradition.

And Cooley insists it’s important Polanski returns for sentencing: “Mr. Polanski pled guilty to a crime… and there are still five or six other much more serious charges pending that have yet to be resolved. They won’t be resolved until his final sentence.”

As part of a 32-year-old plea bargain with Polanski, prosecutors had promised to drop rape, sodomy and other charges after the sentencing.

Cooley tells the Los Angeles Times newspaper, “It’s about completing justice. Justice is not complete when someone leaves the jurisdiction of the court.”

Whoopi Goldberg, Penelope Cruz, Debra Winger, Woody Allen and movie mogul Harvey Weinstein are among those who have spoken out in support of Polanski and Samantha Geimer, the girl he had unlawful sex with in 1977, has publicly forgiven the director, insisting he doesn’t deserve a prison sentence.