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Roman Polanski extradition delayed until next year, Swiss officials say

December 16, 2009 |  6:36 am

POLANSKI The Swiss government won't begin the extradition process of director Roman Polanski until sometime next year, officials said today.

The Los Angeles County district attorney's office wants to bring the famed director back to California for sentencing in a three-decade-old child sex case. Polanski admitted to having sex with a 13-year-old girl at the home of Jack Nicholson but fled to Europe before sentencing.

He was arrested in Zurich three months ago -- but it remains unclear exactly when the extradition process will  begin.

"There will be nothing more this year. At the earliest, we'll make an announcement early next year as to whether the criteria for extradition have been met," Folco Galli, a spokesman for the Justice Ministry, told ABC News.

Polanski has vowed to fight extradition, and legal experts say it could be a long process. He spent three months in a Zurich prison before being granted bail. He now is living under house arrest at his upscale Alpine chalet.

Swiss officials have said Polanski could face up to two years in prison if brought back to the U.S.

-- Shelby Grad

Photo: Roman Polanski. Credit: Francois Guillot / AFP/Getty Images