Yesterday, when news broke that film director Roman Polanski had been arrested in Switzerland after decades on the lam, the Associated Press’ report on the matter was a headline and then a few lines of reporters’ and editors’ notes:
Swiss arrest Polanski on US request in sex case
Associated Press, 09.27.09, 10:41 AM EDT
OK, can you do some more probing? New York will want to know
frank’s out today.
i checked already, and so did zurich. they say the question is irrelevant. he answered me with the quote i used, about we knew when he was coming this time. he’s been here many times in the past, we think.
thx brad. aptn is aware, but unfortunately won’t make it in time, but is hoping to catch tail end.
i’m pushing out another writethru with some more background details before press conference.
no surprise, new york is really hot on this.
they particularly want to know why now. (has he never set foot in switzerland before?) sheila, theorizes that’s because they’re under intense pressure over ubs and want to throw the U.S. a bone, but can yo ucheck with justice department sources there?
is frank around too, or are you alone?
u can tell aptn press conf 1700 (15 gmt) in bern at the parliament
i’ll watch it live on internet
As The Business Insider noted, other news sites took the story down, but this link on Forbes.com still directed readers to the story as recently as an hour ago. An AP spokesman told us human error and technical issues caused the internal communication to be published yesterday, and noted it has since been taken down from the Forbes.com site.
But the AP’s mistake reveals the many questions that Polanski’s arrest has raised for journalists and legal experts. And what is this possible UBS connection?
The Polanski case is complicated, made more so by the fact that the sex attack that he was convicted of occurred over 30 years ago.
According to reports, Polanski pled guilty to having sex with the 13-year-old Samantha Geimer in 1977 — although he had initially been indicted on six felony charges including rape, sodomy and providing a controlled substance to Geimer. As part of his plea bargain, the director would have been sentenced to the 42 days he had already served in jail. However, believing the judge in case might enact a longer sentence, Polanski fled the United States in 1978 and has not returned to the country since, even when he was awarded a Best Director Oscar in 2003 for his work on The Pianist.
Last year, a documentary about the case, Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired, was said to reveal new evidence about the case, and Polanski’s attorneys tried to get the case dismissed by claiming the film depicted judicial and prosecutorial misconduct. Now, Polanski faces extradition from Switzerland, although its unclear what will happen next.