Polanski lawyers take case to US appeals court

Fugitive film director Roman Polanski has taken his bid to have a decades-old sex case thrown out to the US appeals court.

Lawyers for the filmmaker have turned to the California Second District Court of Appeal after a Los Angeles judge refused to hear the case on grounds that Polanski had fled the country 31 years ago and refused to return.

The Chinatown and Rosemary's Baby director went into exile in 1978 after being arrested and pleading guilty to having sex with a 13-year-old girl. He has since lived in Europe and not returned to the US.

Last year his legal representatives filed a request to get the case dismissed on the grounds of judicial misconduct relating to alleged violations of Polanski's original plea bargain.

In January, Polanski's team attempted to get the case moved from Los Angeles, as the city's courts would require him to appear in person. The request was denied.

In the latest move, Polanski's lawyer Chad Hummel filed a petition claiming that his client "had been effectively forced to leave the jurisdiction in 1978 to avoid the imposition of a second illegal term of incarceration."

As such he urged the appeal court to dismiss the case or move it to another jurisdiction where Polanski would not have to appear in person.