Swiss Arrest Roman Polanski for Possible Extradition to U.S. in Sex Case
Sunday, September 27, 2009
Director Roman Polanski was arrested by Swiss police for possible extradition to the United States for having sex in 1977 with a 13-year-old girl, authorities said Sunday.
Polanski, a French citizen, was flying in to receive an honorary award at the Zurich Film Festival when he was apprehended Saturday at the airport, the Swiss Justice Ministry said in a statement. It said U.S. authorities have sought the arrest of the 76-year-old around the world since 2005.
"There was a valid arrest request and we knew when he was coming," ministry spokesman Guido Balmer told The Associated Press. "That's why he was taken into custody."
Balmer said the U.S. would now be given time to make a formal extradition request.
Polanski has been living in France since he fled the U.S. in 1978, a year after pleading guilty to unlawful sexual intercourse with the underage girl. Authorities told FOX News that Polanski's possible extradition to the U.S. will likely take some time — up to a month or longer.
The director of such classic films as "Chinatown" and "Rosemary's Baby" has asked a U.S. appeals court in California to overturn a judges' refusal to throw out his case. He claims misconduct by the now-deceased judge who had arranged a plea bargain and then reneged on it.