Legendary director and convicted pedophile Roman Polanski might be released on bail under the condition he doesn’t flee Switzerland, the Swiss Justice Ministry said Monday.
The 76-year-old Oscar-winning director’s release is “not entirely excluded” under Swiss law, SJM spokesman Guido Balmer said Monday.
Polanski, who has lived in France for decades, was taken into custody, with a U.S. arrest warrant, Saturday as he attempted to enter Switzerland to attend the Zurich Film Festival, where he was to be honored with an award. When learning Polanski would be venturing to Switzerland to receive the award, Los Angeles officials sent an arrest warrant to the U.S. Justice Department, who transferred it to Swiss officials, resulting in the director’s arrest, the LA Times reported.
French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner told France-Inter radio Monday he hoped Polanski would be released. Poland’s Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski told Polish news agency PAP that he and Kouchner would request clemency for the convicted pedophile from U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.
Polanksi has hired a Swiss attorney, Lorenz Erni, to represent him while he is held in the country.
Polanski’s wife Sharon Tate, pregnant with their child, was murdered in 1969 by Charles Manson follower Susan Atkins, who died this week from brain cancer.
Polanski pleaded guilty in 1977 to a single count of unlawful sex with a minor. He admitted to having given Champagne and a Quaalude to a 13-year-old girl he’d taken to his pal Jack Nicholson‘s house for a photo shoot, and then having sex with her. Out on bond after his plea, Polanski fled the country before he was sentenced. The arrest warrant against him was issued in 1978.
His victim, Samantha Geimer, now 45 and a married mother of three, went public with her identity several years ago after settling a civil lawsuit against Polanski. She’s stated that she believes the criminal case against him should be dropped.