Polanski Out And About

Polish film director Roman Polanski was freed from his state of house arrest on Monday 12th July. The decision by the Swiss Justice Ministry angered U.S. authorities but pleased the governments of France and Poland, countries in which Polanski enjoys citizenship.

The out of the blue arrest of Polanski in September 2009 prompted reams of newspaper coverage around the globe, reminding readers of the notorious sex case of 1977, when the director pleaded guilty to unlawful sex with a minor. Although the victim of the crime has long called for the case to be closed, Polanski has been a wanted man in America for three decades. Having fled justice in 1978, he has not been able to return to the U.S. , in spite of winning an Oscar in 2002 for The Pianist, a film which drew on the director's own experiences as a holocaust survivor.

Although Polanski has been travelling to Switzerland for decades, it was only last year that the Swiss actively began cooperating with the U.S., tipping them off of his movements, and carrying out the ultimate arrest itself. However, this week, the Justice Ministry revoked its actions, cancelling the U.S. extradition request on account of "a fault".

Polanski's family and friends are delighted with the decision, but U.S. State Department spokesman Philip Crowley was not so pleased: "We will continue to seek justice in this case and we will evaluate our options," he expressed.


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