A Warsaw court ruled this week that the Polishco-producer of Steven Spielberg's Schindler's List and executiveproducer of Roman Polanski's The Pianist must immediately start servinghis two-year prison term for his role in a bribery scandal that touched thehighest levels of government.
In December, a panel of three judges sentenced Lew Rywin,59, to two years and fined him Euros 25,000 as an accessory toinfluence-peddling.
He was to start serving the term Monday, but his lawyerstried to postpone his imprisonment and have sought a medical opinion of hisfitness to be in prison. They say he has diabetes and heart problems.
"The court rejected Lew Rywin's defense lawyers'motion," Monika Brzozowska, a spokeswoman for the Warsaw Provincial Courttold The Associated Press.
Marek Malecki, a Rywin's lawyer, said they filed acomplaint on the decision, "immediately after the court made itsannouncement."
Rywin will "report at the prison today with theintention of serving his term," Malecki said by telephone. He refused tocomment on the court's decision.
The lawyers have been working to have the prison termcancelled.
Last year, the court ruled that Rywin approachedpublishers of a leading newspaper in 2002 to solicit a $17.5 million bribe. Inexchange, he allegedly offered to lobby for changes to a proposed media lawthat would have allowed the newspaper's publisher to buy a nationwidebroadcaster.
The court said Rywin falsely claimed to represent LeszekMiller, prime minister at the time, and some unspecified "group holdingpower."
Months of parliamentary hearings in the scandal madeheadlines and riveted Poles in 2003.
Rywin was the owner of Heritage Films, a Polish companythat co-produced Schindler's List and Roman Polanski's The Pianist.