Polanski turned down again
A Swiss court rejected on Tuesday a bid by film director Roman Polanski for release on bail as the risk was too high he would flee pending extradition to the United States for having unlawful sex with a minor in 1977.
"According to Swiss law, detention is the rule during the entire extradition proceedings," the Swiss Federal Criminal Court said in a statement. "The court considered the risk that Roman Polanski might flee if released from custody as high."
The 76-year-old Oscar-winning director, who holds dual French and Polish citizenship, was arrested at the request of the United States when he flew into Switzerland on September 26 to receive a lifetime achievement prize at a film festival.
Polanski's French lawyer Herve Temime has said his client was depressed and tired and has been moved from jail for medical treatment.
Temime was not available for comment on Tuesday but Swiss news agency SDA quoted him as saying Polanski would appeal against the decision and offer stronger guarantees to ease concerns he might flee Switzerland.
The court said in its ruling Polanski had many reasons to run away if released on bail, including the fact he could face a U.S. jail sentence of up to 50 years which would mean a painful separation from his wife and children, aged 11 and 16.
It cited his lawyer as saying that longer detention could lead to a loss of around $40 million that investors have put up and ruinous damage claims against him if he cannot finish his new movie "The Ghost," due to premiere in February.
The court also said it would be very easy to escape across the border from Switzerland back to his home in France.
This report comes from Reuters, and it omits some information in the AP report on this. The AP notes that "Polanski's offers of bail, house arrest and electronic monitoring failed to sway the tribunal. Even a Swiss chalet in the luxury resort of Gstaad was brushed aside as insufficient collateral to guard against Polanski fleeing the country, as the United States seeks to have him extradited for having sex with a 13-year-old girl in 1977."
It's good to see that the Swiss are taking this matter seriously. and while some could make the case that he tends to lose a lot of money on the production of his latest movie, it's moot compared to the crime he committed. Those who invested in his movie should have known better than to do so, especially given the fact that Polanski has been trying to outrun his earlier plea deal. The man committed a heinous crime against a 13 year old girl. He needs to answer for that crime, and kudos to the Swiss for not buying the bull being shoveled in their direction.
Others will say that him offering to put his Swiss chateau up for bail would be reason enough for his release. After all, who would want to forfeit their home, right? The man has an extensive movie career and houses are a dime a dozen for him and his Hollywood supporters. So I don't think he'd shed too many tears if he put the house up as bail, and jumped the border to freedom.
No, his butt stays where it is until the extradition procedures are complete.