The Oscar winner has been wanted by American authorities for almost 40 years, since fleeing the U.S. following his 1977 conviction for unlawful sexual intercourse with a 13-year-old girl
Polanski maintains he fled to Europe in 1978 because he feared the now-deceased judge overseeing his case would renege on a plea deal stipulating he would only serve a maximum 48-day sentence. He had already served 42 days behind bars.
The director, who holds French and Polish citizenship, has mostly lived in the two countries ever since, but he recently instructed his lawyer, Harland Braun, to try and clear up the issue once and for all.
Last week, Braun filed a motion in Los Angeles County Superior Court to unseal a secret transcript of testimony of prosecutors allegedly agreeing to the plea deal, and a hearing was set for 24 February.
“Once we unseal the secret transcript… Roman will return to be sentenced to probation and end the issue of an outstanding arrest warrant,” he tells Deadline.com.
Despite largely laying low in Europe, Polanski has encountered a number of attempts from U.S. authorities to extradite him
In 2009, he was imprisoned in Switzerland, only for officials to reject the U.S. prosecutors’ request for extradition.
Lawmakers in Poland, the country of his birth, have also attempted to extradite him to the U.S., but in December last year, judges at the country’s Supreme Court ruled that he could not be sent back to America.
If the upcoming hearing goes Polanski’s way, it will pave the way for him to travel as a free man around the globe.
According to TMZ, the The Pianist director is aiming to bring legal proceedings to a close in order to visit his actress daughter Morgane Polanski – who stars in the History Channel TV show Vikings, in the U.K. – and the grave of his wife, Sharon Tate – who was murdered by followers of cult leader Charles Manson in 1969.