WARSAW — Lew Rywin, the Polish co-producer of “Schindler’s List” and “The Pianist,” was convicted Monday of fraud and sentenced to 30 months in prison in a bribery scandal that has fueled public anger about corruption in high places.
Rywin remained free pending an expected appeal of the Warsaw provincial court’s verdict, which also imposed a $24,830 fine.
The court ruled the 58-year-old producer falsely claimed he represented Prime Minister Leszek Miller when he allegedly sought a $17.5 million bribe from Agora, publisher of the Gazeta Wyborcza newspaper, in 2002.
His offer to lobby for changes to a proposed media law that would enable Agora to buy a nationwide broadcaster also was a misrepresentation, the three-judge panel ruled.
Rywin’s Heritage Films co-produced Roman Polanski’s “The Pianist,” which won three Academy Awards last year, for director, actor (Adrien Brody) and adapted screenplay. The company also co-produced Steven Spielberg’s “Schindler’s List,” which won seven Oscars in 1993 including picture and director.
Though Miller has vehemently denied any involvement, the investigations and a year of intense media coverage have cost the prime minister and his governing Democratic Left Alliance party public support.
(The Associated Press contributed to this report.)