Southern California -- this just in

« Previous Post | L.A. NOW Home | Next Post »

Polanski will enjoy broad freedoms during house arrest at his Alpine chalet

November 29, 2009 |  2:44 pm

Polanski's chalet

When Roman Polanski is released on bail in the next few days to be under house arrest at his Alpine chalet, he will have much more freedom than he did at his Zurich-area jail cell, according to reports from Switzerland.

A Swiss justice officials was quoted by AFP and Swiss news media as saying Polanski would be allowed to make unlimited phone calls and have full access to e-mail and the Internet. Although he cannot leave his house, he can invite friends over and throw parties at the tony chalet in the ski resort of Gstaad.

"He will have no prison regime," Justice Ministry spokesman Falco Galli told AFP. "He is completely free to determine his daily schedule. It's also up to him to get in food and other supplies."

Police in Gstaad said they might block traffic and restrict access into Polanski's neighborhood if reporters proved disruptive.

A Swiss court ruled last week that Polanski can be set free on $4.5-million bail.

Polanski is expected to be released any day now. A court will eventually rule whether Polanski should be extradited to Los Angeles to face sentencing for having illegal sex with a 13-year-old more than three decades ago. Swiss justice officials repeatedly had denied his bail requests, saying he is a flight risk.

Under the terms of the bail, Polanski, 76, will be electronically monitored and have his phone calls monitored as well. Gstaad, a village of 2,500 with mountain views, has long been known as a celebrity hangout, having been home to Elizabeth Taylor, Roger Moore and David Niven, among others.

-- Shelby Grad

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