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Swiss Govt Opposes Roman Polanski's Bail Plea

The Swiss govt has decided to oppose film director Roman Polanski's bail application in court saying that it apprehends that the director may jump bail and flee the country. Polanski is set to be extradited

PTI [ Updated: October 06, 2009 3:57 IST ]
swiss govt opposes roman polanski s bail plea
swiss govt opposes roman polanski s bail plea

The Swiss govt has decided to oppose film director Roman Polanski's bail application in court saying that it apprehends that the director may jump bail and flee the country.

Polanski is set to be extradited to the US over his 1977 conviction for unlawful sex with a 13-year-old-girl, Samantha Geimer.

"We continue to be of the opinion that there is a high risk of flight," said Folco Galli, a Swiss justice ministry spokesman.

He said the risk was too great for the government to accept bail or other security measures in exchange for the release of the filmmaker.

Polanski, 76, the director of Chinatown, Rosemary's Baby and The Pianist, was arrested on Sept 26 as he arrived in Zurich to receive an award from a film festival. Authorities in Los Angeles consider him a convicted felon and a fugitive, and Switzerland says there has been an international warrant for his arrest since 2005.

His legal representatives are also asking Switzerland's highest criminal court to free Polanski. Mr Galli said the justice ministry has submitted a letter to the tribunal explaining why it opposes release even on bail.

Two former Zurich prosecutors have said Polanski stands a minimal chance of an immediate release.

Dieter Jann said extradition would be hard to fight, and he thought Switzerland had followed procedures correctly. Peter Cosandey added that Polanski was unlikely to be released because he is not a permanent resident and had already jumped bail years ago in the US.

Polanski was accused of plying the underage girl with champagne and part of a Quaalude pill during a modeling shoot in 1977, and raping her. He was initially indicted on six felony counts, including rape by use of drugs, child molesting and sodomy.

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