Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

DEBATE

What's Putin's Plan? Kiev Accuses Russia of Terrorism

Read more

FOCUS

Campaigning against Bouteflika's re-election... in France

Read more

WEB NEWS

Chile: Online mobilization to help Valparaiso fire victims

Read more

ENCORE!

Art, sex, money, memory and manga

Read more

MIDDLE EAST MATTERS

Spat over Iran's UN ambassador hampers thawing relations with US

Read more

FOCUS

China trade deal: Is Taiwan's identity under threat?

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

'Call it a caretaker government'

Read more

DEBATE

Nigeria's Battles

Read more

DEBATE

Nigeria's Battles (part 2)

Read more

  • Kiev powerless as pro-Russia activists seize armoured vehicles

    Read more

  • France's new PM targets welfare in drive to cut spending

    Read more

  • Belgian head of wildlife reserve shot in eastern Congo

    Read more

  • Rescue effort under way as ferry sinks off S. Korean coast

    Read more

  • US rolls out red carpet for French critic of capitalism

    Read more

  • N. Korea not amused by London hair salon's Kim Jong-un ad

    Read more

  • Brazil club Mineiro cancel Anelka signing after no-show

    Read more

  • Syria 'torture' photos silence UN Security Council members

    Read more

  • Paris laboratory loses deadly SARS virus samples

    Read more

  • More than 100 schoolgirls kidnapped in northeast Nigeria

    Read more

  • New York police disband unit targeting Muslims

    Read more

  • 'Miracle girl' healthy after seven-organ transplant in Paris

    Read more

  • Paris police memo calling for Roma eviction ‘rectified’

    Read more

  • Burgundy digs into France's bureaucratic 'mille-feuille'

    Read more

  • French court drops ‘hate speech’ case against Bob Dylan

    Read more

  • Algeria rights crackdown slammed ahead of election

    Read more

  • Iraq closes notorious Abu Ghraib jail over security fears

    Read more

  • Berlusconi sentenced to community service for tax fraud

    Read more

  • In ‘Tom at the Farm’, Xavier Dolan blends Hitchcock and homoeroticism

    Read more

  • US to mark one year since Boston Marathon bombing

    Read more

  • India's Supreme Court establishes third gender category

    Read more

Europe

Polanski 'free' as Swiss reject extradition to US

©

Video by Catherine Nicholson

Text by News Wires

Latest update : 2010-07-12

Swiss authorities have rejected a US request to extradite film director Roman Polanski over a child sex case dating from 1977, ending a 10-month legal standoff that has attracted widespread attention from around the world.

AFP - Swiss authorities said that Roman Polanski was a free man Monday after rejecting a request to extradite the film director to the United States to answer for a child sex case dating back to 1977.

"The Franco-Polish film-maker will not be extradited to the United States and the measures of restriction on his liberty have been lifted," Justice Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf told reporters at a press conference.

The announcement comes 10 months after Polanski's dramatic arrest on a US warrant which saw him originally confined to prison before being bailed on 4.5 million Swiss francs (3.0 million euros, 4.5 million dollars) and ordered to surrender his passport.

Polanski, 76, was also not allowed out of the grounds of his 1,800 square metre (19,400 square foot) property in the ski resort of Gstaad and fitted with an electronic bracelet.

The Oscar-winner is alleged to have plied a girl called Samatha Geimer with champagne and drugs during a 1977 photo shoot at the Hollywood Hills home of actor friend Jack Nicholson before having sex with her despite her protests.

The director was initially charged with six felony counts, including rape and sodomy. The charge was later reduced to unlawful sexual intercourse after a plea deal agreed in part to spare his victim the ordeal of a trial.

Polanski later served 42 days at a secure unit undergoing psychiatric evaluation but fled the United States on the eve of his sentencing in 1978 amid fears that the trial judge planned to go back on a previously agreed plea deal.

While he fought his extradition, Polanski insisted he had served the time agreed and claims to the contrary in the US extradition warrant were false.

"I can no longer remain silent because the United States continues to demand my extradition more to serve me on a platter to the media of the world than to pronounce a judgment concerning which an agreement was reached 33 years ago," he said in an open letter to supporters in May.

"I can remain silent no longer because the California court has dismissed the victim’s numerous requests that proceedings against me be dropped, once and for all, to spare her from further harassment every time this affair is raised once more."

He has received support from a host of prominent members of the film-making industry as well as politicians.

French Culture Minister Frederic Mitterand was one of the first public figures to speak for Polanski after his arrest.

Polanski received another wave of support after he was hit with fresh sex crime allegations in May, this time made by a British actress Charlotte Lewis who claimed that the director "forced himself" upon her just after her 16th birthday.

Polanski's flight from justice came after a string of hit films including "Rosemary's Baby" and "Chinatown".

The director, whose then wife Sharon Tate was horrifically murdered by Charles Manson's "family" in 1969, won an Oscar for his 2002 film "The Pianist" but was unable to collect the award because of his fugitive status.

He put the finishing touches on his latest film "The Ghost Writer" while under house arrest in Gstaad.

 

Date created : 2010-07-12

  • USA

    Polanski hit with fresh sex abuse allegations

    Read more

  • CINEMA

    Polanski lawyers file new appeal against extradition

    Read more

  • JUSTICE

    Polanski loses bid to be tried in absentia

    Read more

Comments

COMMENT(S)