The Swiss government refused to extradite Roman Polanski to the United States on Monday, freeing the Oscar-winning director and protecting him from facing charges in the U.S. for having sex with an underage girl and fleeing the country three decades ago.
"Mr. Polanski can now move freely. Since 12:30 today he's a free man," Justice Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf said, according to The Associated Press.
The Swiss government says U.S. authorities are mostly at fault because they failed to provide confidential testimony about the Oscar-winning film director's sentencing procedure in 1977-1978.
Polanski, whose most recent film is The Ghost Writer, was arrested Sept. 26 by Swiss authorities and placed under house arrest at his chalet in Gstaad in November. He was accused of giving a 13-year-old champagne and part of a Quaalude during a 1977 modeling shoot and raping her. He fled the United States in 1978 for France after pleading guilty to one count of unlawful sexual intercourse with the girl.
Though the 76-year old director of Chinatown and The Pianist has been wanted by U.S. authorities for more than three decades, the decision made by the Swiss could end the pursuit unless he travels to another country that will apprehend him and consider the possibility of sending him to Los Angeles, according to the AP.
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