Swiss deny Polanski extradition

July 12, 2010 at 9:03 AM
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BERNE, Switzerland, July 12 (UPI) -- Swiss officials said Monday filmmaker Roman Polanski will not be extradited to the United States to face decades-old child-sex charges.

Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf of the Federal Department of Justice and Police made the announcement Monday in Berne, Romandie News said.

Neue Zurcher Zeitung AG quoted Widmer-Schlumpf as saying the decision was made because the United States did not give Switzerland adequate access to court records pertaining to the case. Polanski also has been released from house arrest, the report said.

The 76-year-old Oscar winner had been under house arrest at his Swiss chalet since December 2009 while he awaited the decision regarding whether he would be extradited to the United States in the 1977 case in which he was accused of drugging and raping a 13-year-old girl. He was held in a Swiss jail for nearly two months before he posted bail and was placed under house arrest.

The filmmaker, who had been living in France but was in Switzerland to attend a film festival at the time of his arrest last year, has not traveled to the United States since he pleaded guilty in Los Angeles to having unlawful sex with a minor. He fled the United States before he could be formally sentenced.

Polanski's lawyers have alleged misconduct on the part of the Los Angeles criminal justice system at the time of the plea deal and fought extradition from Switzerland to the United States.

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