Bail in sight for Roman Polanski, still incarcerated in Switzerland



Roman Polanski was waiting Thursday for the last green light from the Swiss Ministry of Justice authorizing him to wait for his eventual extradition to the United States in his cottage in Gstaad, equipped with an electronic bracelet and against bail of 3 million euros.

After the approval on Wednesday of the Federal Criminal Court (TPF) in Bellinzona for bail, the Swiss Ministry has ten days to lodge an appeal with the country’s highest court, the Federal Court of Lausanne.

Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf hinted on Wednesday that an appeal was not on the agenda: “I do not see any reason to drag this decision before the Federal Court”.

Asked by AFP, his spokesman, Folco Galli said Thursday that the ministry would make its decision “quickly (…) well before the expiry of the appeal period of ten days”. “When I say fast, it’s really fast, you do not waste time when it comes to releasing an inmate.”

The spokesman did not want to say whether a decision would be made during the day.

“If the Ministry decides not to lodge an appeal, the release of Mr Polanski could in any case only take place once the deposit paid and the house arrest organized”, with the electronic bracelet, has -he adds.

These conditions are those that were laid on Wednesday by the TPF by accepting the second application for release of the Franco-Polish director, arrested in Switzerland on September 26 on US mandate.

Court’s decision


To counter a high risk of flight in the event of release, the Swiss court demanded 3 million euros, the wearing of an electronic bracelet and the delivery of Polanski’s identity papers.

The decision provides for his house arrest pending the Swiss court’s decision on his extradition to the United States where he is wanted for “sexual intercourse” with a 13-year-old in 1977.

According to one of his lawyers, Georges Kiejman, Roman Polanski is due to return to his chalet in Gstaad, a posh resort in the Swiss Alps.

There, he could wait more serenely the end of a process that should be long.

Switzerland has officially received the request for extradition of Americans on October 23, but another French lawyer Roman Polanski has already warned that the filmmaker would not accept extradition to the United States where he risks now a maximum of two years.

In addition, according to US judicial sources, Roman Polanski’s lawyers intend to seek their client’s acquittal at an appeal hearing in Los Angeles on December 10.

While the arrest of the Oscar winner in the United States and who received the Palme d’Or (2002) at the Cannes Film Festival, for “The Pianist”, had caused a scandal in France, the decision of the court of Bellinzona was hailed in France, described in particular as “wise and happy” by the former Minister of Culture Jack Lang.

Mathilde Seigner, French actress and sister-in-law of Roman Polanski, said Thursday that President Nicolas Sarkozy had “supported a lot” the filmmaker: “I would not go so far as to say that it is thanks to the president (French) that Roman was released, but he was great, and he supported him a lot. “

The sister of Emmanuelle Seigner – the companion of the French-Polish filmmaker – was delighted by the prospect of a family Christmas.


No Comments

Leave a Comment