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Roman Polanski's release from jail imminent, Swiss officials say

Polanski's chalet

Roman Polanski could be released from a Zurich jail any time now after Swiss justice officials said they would immediately comply with a court's ruling granting the famed director bail.

"Polanski will be released from custody as soon as bail has been transferred, ID and travel documents have been lodged and the electronic monitoring system has been installed and tested," said the Federal Office of Justice in a statement provided to Agence France-Presse.

Polanski is expected to stay at his Alpine chalet, under electronic monitoring.

Legal experts say the bail probably will lengthen the battle over whether Polanski should be extradited to Los Angeles to face sentencing for having sex with a 13-year-old more than three decades ago. The decision also raises other questions, given that Polanski fled from the United States just before his sentencing in 1978. Swiss justice officials repeatedly have denied his bail requests, saying he is a flight risk.

Under the terms of the bail, Polanski, 76, would be restricted to his chalet in Gstaad, a ski resort with mountain views. The village of 2,500 has long been known as a celebrity hangout, having been home to Elizabeth Taylor, Roger Moore and David Niven, among others.

The Swiss court decided to grant bail based on Polanski's pledge of $4.5-million bail along with what the court called supporting measures, including electronic monitoring, which would alert the authorities if he tried leave home or remove a monitoring bracelet.

"It is very rare to get bail in an extradition case and especially in cases where the person's fled," said Laurie Levenson, a former federal prosecutor and Loyola law professor. "This is a little like giving bail to O.J. after the Bronco chase."

Levenson said she believed the bail could slow the extradition process, because Polanski would have less of an incentive to resolve the issue if he was out of jail. "A Swiss chalet is a lot nicer than a jail here," she said.

-- Richard Winton and Shelby Grad

Photo: Roman Polanski's chalet in Gstaad, Switzerland, where the 76-year-old director would be restricted. Credit: Fabrice Coffrini /  AFP/Getty Images

Comments () | Archives (40)

Ah, living the life worthy of a Columbia drug lord.

The next story we shall read is "Polanski removes electronic monitoring device, escapes Switzerland for France".

His Hollywood sycophants won't be on the jury that will hear evidence in this case. And remember: This is a crime he committed against The People, not the victim who accepted money to reinterpret his criminal actions. I look forward to him finally getting his day in court and being convicted, with an extra punishment for his 32 years on the run.

This should remove any doubt that there is a different set of laws for the rich and famous.

Great idea. Now he can spend quality time with his teenage daughter. What jerks.

Just watch, He'll be back in France and we will not be able to get him again.

Polanski should be in jail here is the U.S. and should face new charges for skipping the country after he raped a 13 year old girl. This is a joke! He was suppost to extradited a month ago to face justice. If it were anyone else, one would have to register as a sex offender and serve time in jail. And one would think that the public would shunt him but no, not Hollywood. Polanski is the victim to Hollywood and many others which is just twisted.
And to all of you Hollywood freaks that think this is blown out of porportion,
you are all sick freaks who justify rape, child abuse and molestation.

If Polanski were a poor Black, Hispanic or unknown White male, this would never be possible. How truly sad that the rich always get away with violating the innocent.

Just in time to hit the slopes for the Alpine ski season.

Excellent example of OJ justice. If you are rich enough, you can exploit the legal system on two continents.

While I agree that the evidence strongly indicates that Polanski is guilty of rape, the fact of the matter, which one may attribute to the failure of the US legal authorities and system, is that he pled guilty to the single charge of sex with an underaged woman not his wife, and that he fled on the strong evidence that the judge--a political creature, as are very nearly all US judges, perpetually seeking reappointment or reelection--was likely to renege on the deal (another madness of the US system) to which all parties had agreed.

Given the passage of time, the fact that he has now spent more time incarcerated than that specified in the original deal, coupled with the victim's request that the matter be let go, I fail to see any convincing reason why further prosecution ought be pursued.

The fact that it is being pursued, in the name of abstract notions of 'justice'--which failed from moment one in this case as deals were negotiated and cut in various directions for various reasons and for various political motivations and calculations--does not in fact serve justice.

At this point in time, frankly, I doubt anything will.

This has become a long, squalid essay on politics, the emotions of vengeance, and the projection of various personal issues--on all sides.

Yes, I believe he was morally guilty. Legally, however, the system let him skate, and is now, a thousand years later, attempting to cover for its failure by posturing and the issuance of grand public statements--itself an injustice and a disgrace.

Let the secular matter rest, and leave Judgement to the Maker.

Ah yes, back at the chalet with hot and cold running little girls.

wow how the rich buy justice, when this guy sodomices a kid and how movies stars defend him because he is famous if it was some one else they be yelling for his head, what a double standard famous people like oprah have, rmember this guy had sex with an underage girl!!!!!!

Levinson's analogy to OJ is completely stupid and inflammatory, shows a bias toward the rightwing DA Cooley and his grandstanding on this issue. He went after Polanski at a super high-profile event, even though he could have nabbed him at this chalet he's owned for years any time before, to make a name for himself like he's doing with his uncalled-for war against ALL medical marijuana.

OJ killed 2 people in cold blood, one of whom was his wife and mother if his kids and then drove around WITH THE GUN in real time, a dangerous and distraught man capable of doing anything. He still has behaved erratically and even though he got off, poses a much greater danger due to his violent nature and clear jealous rages, than Polanski ever could.

Unlike OJ, the DA nabbed Polanski 30 years later when he was an old man, no harm to anyone, and there was never any doubt or denial about what he did to his victim. Which was terrible but not violent or forced against her physical will, even though at 13 she was too young to have the knowledge of informed consent and this was traumatic for her and a horrible thing, not something we want to see in society. But there's NO equation except in Levinson's mind, and I question the motives of this paper in seeking out someone like Levinson instead of balancing her opinion.

Of course he'll be released (and probably flee again)

We all know that if you have enough money you can buy your way out of trouble --

Who cares that he fled from justice before while out on bail --

Who cares that he sexually assaulted an under-aged girl

Who cares that he gave her drugs before assaulting her

Who cares?

apparently not the judicial system

remember the golden rule?

he who has the gold rules -- and can get away with anything --

the Swiss should be ashamed -- but money rules there too

Money and fame rule!!! It looks like stars can do anything without being punished!

This is a Win-Win for Switzerland. Polanski will flee and forfeit the 4.5 million. And that will also mean he forfeits the 1.5 million "Chalet" as well. So that's 6 million in total for the Swiss. The victim, who was never paid, yet forgives him, won't see anything and none of that money will be given to Los Angeles either.

The Bail money will come from Hollywood and they will jailbreak him to make a few more movies if they can. What's 4.5 million if you can make another 20-40 million off this guy?

Sadly Polanski is GUILTY of underage rape, but after 30 years, money and a few more lousy movies are the only thing anyone seems to care about

he needs to come back and face his penalties.....raping a 13 year old girl.... oh I forgot hes famous he doesnt need to spend time in jail for his crime...

Once and for all, Roman Polanski is a brilliant artist and he is and always will be part of Life's elite.

He, unlike so many of those in the world, was given the gifts of power and productiveness to do what he wanted to do with his life and change at least a portion of the world the way he thought best.

That is a great obligation for him, but should be a great joy for anyone who has been touched by him.

Roman Polanski falls into the category of what we in this society call great people.

Yes, those great individuals, in their search of their goals in life, what they want, sometimes hurt others around them, intentionally or not, men or women, young or old, boys or girls. But such is the lot in life for those of us not as blessed or talented as they. We need to roll with them. We need to bend. We need to honor their desires in order to hold on to the vision and creativity only those great few possess.

It sounds harsh, but we who may end up hurt or even destroyed by those few great people need to accept we are, all things considered, unimportant. In the grand scheme of life, they are the ones making a difference. We, on the other hand, are nothing.

So, it's OK if Mr. Polanski is let out of prison and may never be sent back to be tried here in the States.

That's the world we live in.

Nice to know he gets to spend the holidays in his Swiss chalet. And who says justice is blind? Justice is very clear eyed and focuses intently on who can cough up the most money.

Justice is blind, except if the defendant is a celebrity.

wow, I guess this is further proof thats there's a justice system for the poor and middle class and a justice system for the wealthy.

Free Roman,

He did nothing wrong! Arrest the mother of the girl that handed her over to him on a platter!

I would have done her!

They need to throw this case out for Christ's sake. The man is 76 years old and has done nothing wrong in 30 years. He was supposed to get PROBATION in his original plea agreement so why are we freaking out over this now?

Isn't this the same as "confining" Madoff to his palace, or allowing Ken Lay's family to pocket the funds he stole from others, once he committed suicide, on the day he was to go to prison?

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