Roman Polanski denied bail in Switzerland

By Jessica Elgot, October 6, 2009
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Roman Polanski

Roman Polanski

Roman Polanski has been denied bail after his arrest in Switzerland while the US authorities attempt to secure his extradition for the rape of a 13-year-old girl in 1978.

Folco Galli, spokesman for the Swiss Justice Ministry said the film director’s request had been denied because it was feared he would flee the country.

It is now likely that Mr Polanski will remain in prison until any extradition process has been completed. The US has 60 days to file the request, and Mr Polanski is expected to appeal against any request made.

Zurich prosecutor Dieter Jann said he believed that any extradition would be hard for Mr Polanski to fight, and that Switzerland had correctly followed procedure.

Mr Polanski, a Holocaust survivor, has not returned to the US since pleading guilty to drugging and raping 13-year-old Samantha Geimer in 1977.

He did not even return to the US to receive the Oscar for ‘Best Director’ which he won for The Pianist in 2003.

Mr Polanski was on his way to the Zurich Film Festival to collect a lifetime achievement award when he was arrested by Swiss police.

Mrs Geimer sued Mr Polanksi and received an undisclosed settlement. Earlier this year she requested that charges against him be dropped.

Last updated: 2:25pm, October 6 2009