A Polish judge has ordered U.S. cinematographer Matthew Libatique released from jail following an arrest on suspicion of assault in Bydgoszcz, where he was attending the EnergaCamerimage festival.
“Mr. Libatique was released from custody by court in Bydgoszcz yesterday,” his Warsaw-based attorney, Marcin Maminski, said Friday.
According to local news accounts, Libatique was arrested after he was seen staggering at the Holiday Inn early Tuesday morning and then became abusive toward a paramedic called by a concerned witness.
Maminski said Judge Monika Gorska-Makarewicz ordered the cinematographer let out of jail without a fine, but prosecutors may still argue for charges to be filed in the next week. The assault charge under consideration carries a maximum penalty of three years in prison.
The release came despite a prosecutor’s request for detention and a fine of 10,000 Polish zlotys ($2,645), according to the main Polish daily, wyborcza.pl. It was not yet clear on Friday whether Libatique was en route to the U.S., a point on which his attorney declined to comment.
The local daily also quoted the prosecutor as opposing the release and arguing that serious penalties should be levied to ensure the safety of public servants against violence. A paramedic broke a tooth in the assault on Tuesday, according to multiple local accounts.
Libatique, 50, filmed “Black Swan” and “Iron Man” and screened “A Star Is Born” at the festival this week in its main cinematography competition.