Tuesday 13 July 2010 By Michael Marshall

Fugitive Roman Polanski offered prestigious award by US Department of Justice


Film director Roman Polanski is to be honoured with a lifetime achievement award, which he should definitely come and pick up himself, the US Department of Justice announced yesterday.

The director, whose extradition to the US was recently rejected by the Swiss government, will be honoured for services to children in the film industry – with thirteen-year-old Samantha Geimar cited as prime example of Polanski’s work.

The new award – a first from a state department in the United States – was revealed this week, just days after the controversial announcement by the Swiss Justice Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf that “measures taken to restrict the freedom of Mr Polanski” had been lifted.

The Department of Justice have finally agreed to look at the situation like the Swiss – that his crimes should not detract from the fact that he made some very good movies, for which they would now like to recognise him in their own special way.

Prize

The lavish award ceremony is set to take place in a Washington court room, where a panel of judges will meet to officially declare Polanski recipient of the award, just as soon as he arrives to claim it.

Speaking to reporters in Washington, State Department spokesman Philip Crowley said: “As you can imagine, we’re all absolutely thrilled to be able to award Mr Polanski this prestigious prize.”

“This represents the first time a US State Department has given a lifetime achievement award, but with Polanski’s outstanding record, as well as his outstanding warrant – this was a no-brainer.”

“He’s been on our to-do list for over 30 years now, so I’m delighted we can take this move towards getting him the recognition he so fully deserves.”

Speaking whilst attempting to conceal a 7-foot net behind his back, Crawley continued, “We just hope Polanski will collect the award in person”, adding, “If he does, we definitely promise not to arrest him over that child-rape case he’s been shamefully avoiding for years.”

If found guilty of winning the award, Mr Polanski will be presented with a ceremonious large metal ball, which he will be able to wear around his ankle via an attractive decorative chain for a period of not less than 50 years.

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