Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Letter to Swiss Embassy in US re Roman Polanski

I wrote the following letter last night, July 12, 2010, 10:47 pm. PST, to the Swiss Embassy in Washington, DC.

Mr. Ambassador:

I'm writing to express my outrage at the Swiss government's decision to free Roman Polanski despite his conviction for child molestation and the US government's request to extradite him. The Swiss government's deplorable actions are an insult to this country and every child who has been molested. Is it now the policy of Switzerland to become a haven for degenerates wanted in other countries?

Moreover, any alleged "technical" deficiencies in the extradition request could have been remedied. As it stands now, the Swiss government has ignored the fact that "A 13-year-girl was drugged and raped by an adult -- this is not a matter of technicality."


Gonzalo I. Vergara, Lt. Col., USAF (Ret.).
Lincoln Hills, California


  1. In response to my letter, this morning I received the following:

    The Embassy of Switzerland would like to thank you for commenting on the decision by the Swiss Federal Department of Justice and Police (FDJP).

    We can asure you that the Swiss government examined all relevant legal questions before it made its decision. Neither the person of Mr. Polanski nor political arguments played a role in this procedure.

    The decision was made because it was not possible to exclude with the necessary certainty a matter of doubt in the U.S. extradition request.

    In the framework of the extradition proceedings, on March 3, 2010, the Federal Office of Justice (FOJ) asked the U.S. authorities to substantiate the extradition request by supplying the records of a hearing carried out on January 26, 2010, by the public prosecutor, Roger Gunson, who was in charge of the case in the seventies. The records should prove that in a meeting held on September 19, 1977, the judge in charge at the time had expressly assured the representatives of the parties that the 42 days of detention spent by Roman Polanski in the psychiatric unit of a Californian prison represented the entire prison term to which he was sentenced. If this were the case, Roman Polanski would actually have already served his sentence and therefore both the proceedings on which the U.S. extradition request is founded and the request itself would have no foundation.

    The request by the FOJ to supply the records was rejected by the U.S. Justice Department on May 13, 2010, due to a court ruling, according to which the records had to be kept secret. Under those circumstances, it is not possible to rule out with the necessary certainty that Roman Polanski has already served his sentence and that the extradition request is undermined by a serious doubt. Considering the persisting doubts concerning the presentation of the facts of the case, the request has to be rejected.

    I trust that this information is useful to understand the decision of the Federal Office of Justice in Berne, Switzerland.

    With best regards,

    Norbert BĂ„RLOCHER
    Counselor, LL.M.
    Head Communications

    Embassy of Switzerland
    2900 Cathedral Ave, NW, Washington, D.C., 20008, USA
    Phone: +1 202 745 7900

  2. 42 days of detention for having raped a child?...
    No comment necessary. Just a question mark left on the values we supposedly protect and preserve.

  3. Agree. Here is my reply to them:

    Dear Sir:

    The Swiss government was not asked to make a substantive detemination of the propriety of Mr. Polanski's sentence or whether he has served it or not. The Swiss government was asked to extradite Mr. Polanski so that an American Court could make that determination under American law.

    The Swiss government's position is outrageous!!!

    No response is necessary.