A lawyer representing the film director wants the media to be barred from a Polish courtroom on Wednesday (25 February) when it considers a US extradition request over his 1977 conviction for having sex with a 13-year-old girl.
Polanski, who is in preparing to make a movie about Alfred Dreyfus, will attend the hearing in Krakow, where he lived as a child.
His lawyer, Jan Olszewski, has asked the judge to ban media from the court in order to protect Polanski’s privacy and due to the circumstances of the case.
Krakow prosecutors refused a request from US justice authorities last year to arrest Polanski. However, they did say there were no legal obstacles to the extradition, and have asked the court for a ruling.
Polanski, 81, is subject to an Interpol warrant that would result in his arrest in 188 countries. He avoids extradition by travelling between France, Poland and Switzerland.
In 2009, he was arrested in Zurich on a US warrant and placed under house arrest. He was freed in 2010 after the Swiss authorities decided not to extradite him.
It was in 1977 that 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.
Even if the court rules that Polanski should be extradited, Poland’s justice minister can approve or reject the decision. The Oscar-winning director is regarded as a celebrity in his home country.