Roman Polanski will not attend US hearing

ROMAN Polanski (pix) "has no intention" of attending a hearing in the United States next week that will consider a new request in his 40-year old statutory rape case, his French lawyer said Thursday.

Polanski is seeking assurances he will do no further jail time, claiming he previously reached a plea deal in the case and urging a judge to unseal a secret transcript of the testimony of the prosecutor that he says will confirm the deal.

"A judge is due to adjudicate next week at the request of [Polanski's] US lawyer demanding the lifting of seals on the testimony of the prosecutor at the time, confirming an agreement between all parties" to the case, his French lawyer Herve Temime told AFP.

The award-winning director of The Pianist and Chinatown, was accused of drugging 13-year-old Samantha Gailey – who now uses the surname Geimer – before raping her at film star Jack Nicholson's house in Los Angeles in 1977.

Polanski, who also has French citizenship, admitted having unlawful sex with a minor, or statutory rape, and spent 42 days in Chino State Prison before being released.

But in 1978, convinced a judge was going to scrap the plea deal and hand him a hefty prison sentence, he fled for France, where he now lives.

Polanski's US lawyer believes secret testimony supports the director's claim that had an agreement to serve just 48 days.

Polanski wants "acknowledgement that he has already executed his sentence" in the United States, in order to "freely travel and have his arrest warrant lifted", Temime added. — AFP