A Krakow Court has ruled against a US request to extradite film director Roman Polanski for having had sex with a 13-year-old girl there in the 1970s.
Judge Dariusz Mazur said the request was “inadmissible”.
Polanski was not present in court on Friday. Prosecutors can still appeal against the ruling.
The Oscar-winning director, who admitted unlawful sex with a minor, fled from the US ahead of sentencing in 1978.
The 82-year-old Roman Polanski has French and Polish citizenship. He lives in France – which does not extradite its own citizens – but has been working in Poland on a film project.
Swiss authorities turned down a US extradition warrant in 2010, after placing Polanski under house arrest for nine months.
The film director’s Polish lawyers had argued against his extradition, citing claimed legal flaws in the US process and the 42 days Polanski i served in prison at the time, according to the Associated Press news agency.
Roman Polanski grew up in Poland and is regarded as one of the country’s greatest living artists.
He survived World War Two in the Krakow ghetto but his mother died at Auschwitz.
If a Polish court were to rule in favour of extradition, the final decision would rest with the justice secretary.