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Polanski Case Heading Towards Extradition Back To USA

Oct. 21 2009, Published 4:18 a.m. ET

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It’s looking more likely that Oscar winning director Roman Polanski will return Stateside to answer his decades-old sex charges -- while the Swiss government has admitted that they tipped American agents off about his whereabouts.

Roman Polanski To Stay In Swiss Jail... For Now

And it was this tip-off that set in motion the 76-year-old’s arrest that sent shockwaves through Hollywood and around the world.

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Swiss Justice Ministry spokesperson Folco Galli said: “An arrest is a big operation and we needed to know if the warrant was still valid and the Americans immediately confirmed that was the case.”

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Polanski was then taken into custody in Zurich after he traveled from France to collect an award at a film festival in the city.

The Pianist and Chinatown director has been wanted in the US since pleading guilty to unlawful sex with an under-age girl and then fleeing in 1978.

Galli defended the decision to tip-off American legal officials following criticism that Polanski had previously been allowed to come and go from his country.

Roman Polanski Arrested

The official claimed this was the first time they actually knew his precise travel arrangements at the same time as an official American request to arrest him.

Earlier this week Polanski lost an appeal to be released from Swiss jail where he is being held ahead of any possible extradition to the US.

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Switzerland’s highest criminal court backed an earlier government ruling that there was a high risk of him fleeing the country if he was released.

The director’s lawyer Georges Kiejman has admitted that his client could now end-up back in America.

He said: “We could be heading towards an extradition if the Swiss justice system does not take into account arguments against it.

“If the procedure drags on, it is not impossible that Roman Polanski could choose to go and explain himself in the United States, where there are some arguments in his favor," he added.

Polanski has not been in America for over 30 years.

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