Swiss govt sets Polanski free

MUMBAI: The Swiss government‘s reported decision not to extradite film director Roman Polanski has the US government disappointed. In spite of the decision, a state department spokesman said that it would continue to seek Polanski‘s arrest on charges he had sex with an underage girl in 1977.

Freeing the director,the Swiss justice ministry said the US had not made a convincing argument for Polanski‘s extradition and hence he was being freed. Yesterday Swiss Justice Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf announced that "the measures taken to restrict the freedom of Polanski had been lifted.

Polanski has reportedly left his chalet in the Alpine resort of Gstaad where he was held under house arrest for eight months.

The Swiss justice ministry said that the US had failed to disprove Polanski‘s argument that he fled before sentencing in 1978 because he believed the judge would renege on a plea agreement.

Polanski was originally charged with six offences including rape and sodomy over the 1977 case. In 1978, he pleaded guilty to unlawful sex following a plea bargain. He then served 42 days in prison. The director was taken into custody in Switzerland in September while collecting a lifetime achievement award at the Zurich Film Festival.

Polanski, whose films include Rosemary‘s Baby and The Pianist, was moved from prison and placed under house arrest in early December.

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