Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Is Switzerland trading Polanski for banking leniency?

Although it sounds like a DealBreaker headline, it's actually from Foreign Policy's Passport blog:

The L.A. Times' Joanna Neumann has a round-up of speculation that Switzerland's decision to finally arrest director Roman Polanski may have been a bid to earn leniency from U.S. legal authorities, who are currently investigating Swiss Bank UBS in an ongoing tax-evasion investigation.

On Sunday the AP accidently sent out an internal communication between two staffers speculating about the connection. The Swiss Justice minsitry has denied any connection between the arrest and any other issues.

The theory seems a bit unlikely. Despite the L.A. prosecutor's office's protestations, it doesn't really seem like pursuing Polanski has been a major priority for the justice department over the years, certainly not compared to the Obama administration's the high-profile crackdown on tax evasion....MORE