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Swiss refuse bail for Roman Polanski

Film director Roman Polanski, fighting extradition from a Swiss prison to the United States in a case from three decades ago involving sex with a teenage girl, has lost his first bid to have his arrest overturned.

Folco Galli, a spokesman for the Federal Office of Justice in Bern, the Swiss capital, said today that his office has rejected Polanski's request for a reconsideration of the warrant leading to his arrest.

At the same time, the office of justice also recommended Monday to a federal criminal court that Polanski's application for release from prison be denied.

"We are still persuaded that there is still a danger that he will escape, and that liberation on bail could not guarantee his presence through the extradition proceedings," Galli said.

Polanski, the Oscar-winning director of such classic films as "Chinatown" and "Rosemary's Baby," was taken into custody Sept. 26 in Zurich, where he had gone to accept a lifetime achievement award at a film festival. The arrest came at the request of authorities in Los Angeles, who want Polanski back in court 31 years after he fled the U.S. before he could be sentenced for unlawful sex with a minor.

Lawyers for Polanski, 76, have suggested that he be released from jail and allowed to spend his detention at the home he owns in the Swiss resort town of Gstaad.

In a statement today, Herve Temime, Polanski's Paris-based attorney, insisted that Polanski would "not leave the Swiss territory during the whole extradition procedure, and [would] respect all the obligations that may be imposed upon him in order to guarantee that commitment."

But legal experts say that such a decision by the Swiss court would be highly unlikely and that Polanski will probably have to stay in prison for several months while extradition proceedings play out.

-- Henry Chu in London and Devorah Lauter in Paris

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Comments () | Archives (58)

I don't see why the Swiss authorities believe he is a threat to not appear in the extradition process if freed from jail. Polanski's attorney said he would stay at his house. What's the problem?

So happy to read that the Swiss authorities are not allowing bail. If Polanski ran once he has every intention of running again.

The police may not catch you today, and they may not catch you tomorrow, and they may not catch you next week, but the police never give up, and eventually they will catch you. Too bad, so sad, Polanski, you rapist.

Why does the LAT dance around the word "rape"? He didn't have sex, the incident wasn't "involving sex"--he drugged and raped a 13 yr. old girl. The testimony shows that she did not consent, which is moot because of her age.

Is this a style-book thing?

Ironic (and wonderfully so), Polanski could end his jail misery by simply agreeing to immediate extradition and then face a much more sympathetic court and sentence in California. If he doesn't insult the court with his phony tears of alleged injustice, then he would probably serve less time here than he now will in Swiss jail just waiting to finally come to California! He has no case to argue in Switzerland.

YES ! ! ! Who says all news is BAD news?

"sex with a teenage girl" ??? that implies she could have been 19,18,.. why not "rape" or at "least statutory rape"??

Go ahead, give him bail. But make it hurt if he runs. Put up the title to the house plus triple the value, all on cash deposit inside Switzerland. If he runs, he forfeits it all. That should make him really think about his wife and kids. If his Hollywood buddies really love him, they'll pay to make it good.

Faye I hope you're being sarcastic. I recall reading in this newspaper about two Americans that went to Cambodia to have sex with minors. They were arrested and brought back here to the U.S. to stand trial. I don't see Polanski being any different. He committed the crime a long time ago. He should be charge for two crimes, one; for the rape, two; for fleeing.

@Faye Schlift:

Polanski has a history of running away from criminal proceedings.

Further, he has the money, the connections, and the legal protections to keep himself safe from the extradition proceedings for the rest of his life in France, which is just, at most, a few hours drive from where he's held in Switzerland.

Polanski's attorney may be telling the truth -- that Polanski said he would remain at his house in Switzerland -- but that doesn't guarantee that Polanski himself was telling the truth.

"sex with a teenage girl"?????

This is called rape - she wasn't 19, she was 13.

RE: faye schlift

The problem is that he has an obvious history of fleeing from justice. The Swiss made the right call. Anyone associated with him should turn their back in shame unless they too want to be associated with the idea that sleeping with a 13 year is something that should be allowed.

The opening sentence is entirely misleading in that it implies something far less insidious than the actual facts of the case: "in a case from three decades ago involving sex with a teenage girl."

To the uninformed reader, this might be read as to mean sex with a girl of 19 years.

In truth, it wasn't sex at all. It was rape. Rape of 13 year old girl. Polanski gave her alcohol, gave her drugs, and then raped her vaginally and anally. That is called rape. Not sex.

Is this an example of poor writing or defense by obfuscation?

This is disgusting, all he did was drug and rape rape a 13 year old. Shame!

Let's see. About the time that Polanski did his deeds, Americans sent hundreds of thousands of their people to Vietnam to kill, bomb, spray poison, rape, pillage and to lie about it. Are we ready to put them on trial for these crimes? Why not? What's the problem? Crime is crime, regardless of man-made borders.

The Swiss authorities are right. He has a history of evading government. That's why he has arrived at this juncture. I am thankful the Swiss are working with the U.S., they are doing things in a responsible way and I applaud them.

good. it's about time he was dealt with.
i only hope he is placed in general population and that all his fellow prisoners know he is a child rapist.
he's had something coming to him for decades now. it's about time he received it.
hope he rots.

Sorry. I forgot that he ran away for 30 years. My bad.

Oh, enough of this internet lynch-mob already. If the Swiss don't let him go, I'm never eating their chocolate again.

Execute all Rapists. Castration is not enough. Why waste money on prisons?

I don't see why the Swiss authorities believe he is a threat to not appear in the extradition process if freed from jail. Polanski's attorney said he would stay at his house. What's the problem?

Posted by: faye schlift | October 06, 2009 at 08:57 AM


Faye, you are joking, right?

I totally agree with Tony S... Polanski is probably going to spend more time in a Swiss jail than if he would just come to the US and end this case.

Let me inform the victim's defenders that if Polanski would have been a regular Joe, he would have been free from the beginning. Here in Texas, statutory "rape" is as common as the common cold. A police officer "raped" a 13 year old and his sentence? Probation. How those bleeding hearts that want Polanski bunrned at the stake like "them apples?"
The list is as long as the reasons of those with secret agendas state here why Polanski should stay in jail. If justice was fair and impartial, Bush and his whole administration would be in jail for life. In another story about a another minor being not only raped but killed, her father said:"Why couldn't he left her alive?". Worst yet, why these bleeding hearts and the hypocrites of always don't care a bit about the thousands of children being pimped every day in every town, small and big, in America. When people want justice, it has to be for the proper reasons, fair and without politics being involved and that my friends is impossible.


haha yeah its not like hes ran from the law before right...

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