Jerzy Dabrowski-KPA/ZUMA Press
Peter Mikelbank and Karen Nickel Anhalt
October 21, 2009 02:10 PM

After weeks of trying to fight possible extradition to the U.S. to face decades-old rape charges, Swiss-held director Roman Polanski may allow himself to be brought to California to “explain himself,” one of his senior lawyer said Wednesday.

“An extradition procedure could take months,” attorney Georges Kiejman told Europe 1 in a radio interview. “It could lead towards extradition if the Swiss judiciary doesn’t hold with the arguments put before it. If that procedure drags on forever, it’s possible Roman Polanski will finally choose to go to explain himself in the United States … where arguments in his favor exist.”

If it comes to pass, it would be a significant change in tactics for Polanski, 76.

Health a Consideration

A former French cabinet minister who has been closely associated with Polanski, Kiejman also said he was certain Polanski had regrets, and mentioned the director’s reportedly poor health as a consideration.

Polanski is still wanted in the U.S. after skipping bail for the 1978 rape of then 13-year-old Samantha Geimer, a crime to which he pleaded guilty and served a 42-day psychiatric evaluation. In 1993, Polanski paid Geimer in a civil settlement, and she has come out against his extradition to the U.S., saying she would rather the experience be put to rest.

“Time for emotion has passed, and everyone will understand that it s necessary to bring this affair to conclusion with just and balanced proportions,” Kiejman said, mentioning a letter Geimer has written stating her forgiveness.

Polanski’s legal team has repeatedly argued he should be freed, but on Tuesday, a Swiss court in Bellezona rejected Polanski’s request for release on bond, saying he was a flight risk.

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