Polanski lawyer says US wants him "in shackles"

Los Angeles: Roman Polanski`s lawyer accused US courts on Saturday of wanting to see the filmmaker "in shackles" after they rejected his bid to be sentenced in absentia for having sex with a 13-year-old girl in 1977.

Polanski skipped bail and fled the United States for France in 1978, and is now fighting extradition from Switzerland. Affirming the decision of a Los Angeles judge in January, a state appeals court ruled on Thursday that the 76-year-old filmmaker must return to California before he can be sentenced.

"One gets the feeling that there`s the desire to see him arrive in shackles, when there`s no reason why Roman Polanski should be extradited, none at all," lawyer Herve Temime told Europe 1 radio.

The court has also rejected a petition filed by Polanski`s victim, Samantha Geimer, to have the case dismissed altogether.

Polanski, who directed "Chinatown" and "Rosemary`s Baby", was charged in 1977 with raping Geimer in Hollywood after plying her with champagne and drugs. He later pleaded guilty to having unlawful sex with a minor.

He fled to his native France before sentencing, fearing the judge would impose more prison time than the 42 days he had already spent behind bars for a psychiatric evaluation.

"The time he spent in jail 32 years ago means he has served his sentence," Temime said.

Polanski was arrested last year when he travelled to a film festival in Switzerland.

Bureau Report