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Swiss court agrees to grant Polanski bail, but he remains behind bars for now [Updated]

November 25, 2009 |  8:03 am

 Polanski2004epacaetanobarreiraA court in Zurich, Switzerland, has accepted Roman Polanski's request for bail, but he will remain in prison for now.

A Swiss Justice Ministry spokesman told the Associated Press that the court today approved a $4.5-million bail for the famed director, who faces extradition to Los Angeles to be sentenced for unlawful intercourse with a 13-year-old girl more than three decades ago.

Under the bail plan, Polanski would be under electronic monitoring at his Swiss chalet until the justice system decides whether he should be sent to Los Angeles, Justice Ministry spokesman Folco Galli told the AP. But Polanski will remain behind bars until the ministry decides whether to appeal the court's decision for bail.

Polanski has vowed to fight extradition, and the process could take months or more.

The director was arrested in Zurich as he came to the city to attend a film festival. He is considered a fugitive ever since he fled L.A. just before being sentenced in 1978.

Swiss authorities have said Polanski would face as many as two years in prison if he is returned to Los Angeles.

[Updated at 8:24 a.m.: The Los Angeles County district attorney's office declined to comment on the Swiss court's decision to grant bail.

Swiss officials have in the past rejected Polanski's request for bail, saying he was a flight risk.]

-- Shelby Grad and Andrew Blankstein

Photo: L.A. Times file

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