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Polanski to be released on bail Friday for return to his Alpine chalet, Swiss officials say

December 2, 2009 |  8:14 am

After a week of speculation, Swiss justice officials announced today that Roman Polanski will be released on bail Friday and return to his chalet in an Alpine resort.

The announcement comes a week after a Swiss court agreed to allow the famed director to leave prison on $4.5-million bail. SInce then, his release has been delayed as Swiss authorities awaited payment of the bond.

That snag appears to have been resolved, and officials said Polanski was to leave prison at 1 p.m. Friday, Zurich time. Arrangements for an electronic security system to monitor Polanski's movements were completed Tuesday, according to Swiss media reports.

The media have converged on the chalet, awaiting Polanski's arrival.

Shoveling snow at Polanski chalet
Swiss justice officials were quoted by AFP and Swiss news media as saying Polanski would be allowed to make unlimited phone calls and have full access to the Internet. Although he cannot leave his home, 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."

Fg-Polanski-Chalet Police in Gstaad said they might block traffic and restrict access into Polanski's neighborhood if the media proved disruptive.

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 was a flight risk.

Under the terms of the bail, Polanski, 76, will 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: A man shovels snow at the entrance to film director Roman Polanski's chalet in Gstaad, Switzerland. Credit: Michel Euler / Associated Press

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