Filmmaker Roman Polanski, currently facing extradition from Switzerland to the US over a 33-year-old underage sex case, has broken his long silence on the matter.
In an open letter published on a French website, the Oscar-winner director accused the US authorities of wanting to serve him "on a platter to the media of the world" and asked only to be "treated fairly".
The 76-year-old's case dates back to 1977 when he pleaded guilty in a US court to having unlawful sex with a 13-year-old.
After 42 days in prison he fled the country before he was sentenced.
"That period (in prison) was to have covered the totality of my sentence," The Pianist director explained.
"By the time I left prison, the judge had changed his mind and claimed that the time served… did not fulfill the entire sentence, and it is this reversal that justified my leaving the United States."
The Poland-born filmmaker, who is under house arrest in his Gstaad home, laid out eight reasons why the case California prosecutors were preparing against him was unjust.
He asked the Swiss authorities to set him free "to find peace, be reunited with my family, and live in freedom in my native land."