Tags: eu | switzerland | polanski

Polanski in Swiss Jail Until at Least Friday

Tuesday, 01 Dec 2009 05:21 AM

 

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BERN, Switzerland -- Roman Polanski will be held in jail at least three more days because he needs more time to pay his $4.5 million bail, Swiss authorities said Tuesday.

All other conditions have been satisfied for the 76-year-old director's house arrest at his Alpine chalet, and the bail transfer is expected in the next couple of days, Justice Ministry spokesman Folco Galli said.

Once fitted with an electronic monitoring bracelet, Polanski will not be allowed to leave his house in Gstaad while Switzerland decides whether to extradite him to the United States for having sex in 1977 with a 13-year-old girl.

Polanski will need to pay the $4.5 million in full, according to Swiss standards that differ from other countries such as the United States where bail bondsmen often post a percentage of the total.

Polanski has been in Swiss custody since being arrested Sept. 26 on a U.S. warrant as he arrived in Zurich to receive a lifetime achievement award at a film festival. Authorities in Los Angeles want him returned to be sentenced after 31 years as a fugitive.

The director of such film classics as "Rosemary's Baby," "Chinatown" and "The Pianist" was being held at a jail in Winterthur, near Zurich, where he was visited Monday by his lawyer Lorenz Erni and French diplomat Jean-Luc Faure-Tournaire.

Faure-Tournaire said Polanski was in "good spirits" and pleased with how he has been treated.

It was unclear when Polanski's wife and two children would join him in Gstaad. His sister-in-law, Mathilde Seigner, told the Le Parisien newspaper that his family usually goes to the chalet around Christmas and plans to meet there again this year.

Polanski was initially accused of raping the 13-year-old girl after plying her with champagne and a Quaalude pill during a modeling shoot in 1977. He was indicted on six felony counts, including rape by use of drugs, child molestation and sodomy, but he pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of unlawful sexual intercourse.

In exchange, the judge agreed to drop the remaining charges and sent him to prison for a 90-day psychiatric evaluation. The evaluator released Polanski after 42 days, but the judge said he was going to send him back to serve out the 90 days.

The filmmaker fled the U.S. on Feb. 1, 1978, the day he was to be formally sentenced. He has lived since then in France, which does not extradite its citizens.

Polanski claims that the U.S. judge and prosecutors acted improperly in his case. His attorneys will argue before a California appeals court in December that the charges should be dismissed.

© Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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