Polish co-producer of ‘Pianist’ convicted

Rywin remains free pending appeal

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.)

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