With the recent arrest of fugitive film director Roman Polanski, the New York Times has an article asking: why now? Polanski, who resides in France, was arrested in Switzerland where he owns a home and frequently visited. From the article:
Law enforcement officials here have said it was a simple matter of opportunity.
But supporters of Mr. Polanski have said that this has been true many times since he fled the United States in 1978 to escape sentencing in a sex-crimes case involving a 13-year-old girl.
Piqued by claims that it had not pursued Mr. Polanski in the past, the district attorney’s office circulated a list of actions and queries by which it had monitored his travels in at least 10 countries, including what appeared to be a near miss, when officials relayed a request for information from Israel about a visit in 2007. “Polanski had left Israel and was not arrested,” by the time the information arrived, said the advisory.
Mr. Polanski’s lawyers, in an appellate court filing in August, said the district attorney’s office had avoided attempts at extradition, which might have resulted in hearings at which judicial misconduct would have been raised as an issue.