Published June 01, 2005
WARSAW, Poland – The Polish co-producer of the Oscar-winning film "Schindler's List (search)" left prison Tuesday after an appeals court suspended his two-year term in a high-profile bribery scandal, citing his poor health.
Lawyers had appealed Rywin's imprisonment, arguing he had a heart condition that made it dangerous for him to remain in jail.
A lower court rejected the request in April and ordered him to begin his term. But the appeals judges ordered that he be freed while a lower court considers his health.
Rywin entered prison April 18 and later underwent heart tests. His wife and son said he did not receive needed medication while in prison.
Rywin was convicted last year of being an accessory to influence peddling.
A Warsaw court ruled he approached publishers of a leading newspaper in 2002 to solicit a $17.5 million bribe in exchange for lobbying for changes to a proposed media law that would have allowed the paper's publisher to buy a nationwide broadcaster.
The court said Rywin falsely claimed to represent Leszek Miller (search), the prime minister at the time, and an unspecified "group holding power." Miller, whose government was undermined by a series of corruption scandals, stepped down last year and was succeeded by Marek Belka.
Rywin's Heritage Films co-produced "Schindler's List" by director Steven Spielberg (search) in 1993 and Roman Polanski's "The Pianist," which was honored at the Cannes Film Festival in 2002.