Swiss Court Rejects Polanski's Bid for Release
A Swiss court has ordered Roman Polanski to remain in jail because the director poses a big flight risk, The Associated Press reports.
"The court considered the risk that Roman Polanski might flee if released from custody as high," the Swiss Federal Criminal Court said. "The bail offered by the appellant does not meet in its form the requirements set out by the law."
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The 76-year-old Oscar-winning director is wanted by U.S. authorities for having sex with a 13-year-old girl in 1977. He fled the United States in 1978 for France after pleading guilty to one count of unlawful sexual intercourse with the girl. Polanski was arrested Sept. 26 as he arrived in Zurich for a film festival.
The ruling comes two weeks after the Swiss Justice Ministry rejected Polanski's initial appeal for release.
In Polanski's latest bid, the director's lawyers offered his Gstaad chalet as collateral, but the court said that was not sufficient to prevent an escape. The court also noted that Polanski could easily leave Switzerland and return to France, which does not extradite its citizens, to avoid extradition by helicopter or a private plane if released.
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U.S. authorities have until Nov. 25 to submit an extradition request.
Polanski has 10 days to appeal the ruling to Switzerland's highest tribunal. He can also continue to submit appeals to the Swiss Justice Ministry, which would consider all of the director's requests, spokesman Folco Galli said.
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"The point of imprisonment is to ensure that Switzerland can fulfill its treaty obligations on extradition," Galli said. "He can always ask again to be released. But detention is the rule."