A judge in New York has denied Harvey Weinstein’s request to travel to Italy and Spain for work prior to his upcoming rape trial to be held on September 9.
Weinstein filed a plea through his lawyers to be allowed to travel to Europe from August 12 to August 22. The request was immediately turned down in a decision that a New York court released on Wednesday. In a straightforward one-line decision, Justice James Burke said, “The request for a change in bail conditions is denied.” Also against Weinstein’s travel request is Prosecutor Joan Illuzzi-Orbon.
The embattled former producer was planning to attend a consultation for the stage adaptation of Cinema Paradiso (1988). Weinstein produced the Oscar-winning film that was awarded under the Best Foreign Language Film category at the 62nd Academy Awards. He could be locked behind bars in a life sentence if he is found guilty of rape.
A defense attorney representing Weinstein argued that his “work in Italy would involve in-person meetings with composer Ennio Morriconi, who is over 90 years old and unable to travel, and the film-maker and business partner, Giuseppe Tornatore.”
Tornatore is credited for directing the 1988 film. Distribution rights are under Miramax, a banner co-founded by Weinstein. As per his lawyers, he also planned to meet investors, designers, and filmmakers in Spain. Currently, the accused rapist has no passport after it was surrendered under his bail.
Donna Rotunna, one of Weinstein’s lawyers said the decision to keep him from traveling was unfair saying it, ”exemplifies the problem with this current environment of conviction and punishment before trial, yielding to mob justice.”
Ben is is a senior journalist and sport columnist for Best in Australia. He previously worked for the BC and other radio stations.