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Sex offense

December 4, 2009

Film director Roman Polanski is now under house arrest at his chalet in a Swiss ski resort after being released from prison on multi-million dollar bail. He is still fighting extradition to the US.

Private security guards patrol Polanski's chalet
Private security guards patrol Polanski's chaletImage: AP

Roman Polanski arrived at his chalet in the upmarket Swiss ski resort of Gstaad in a limousine on Friday after his release on bail of three million euros ($4.5 million).

His actress wife, Emmanuelle Seigner, and their two children were reportedly waiting for the 76-year-old film director at the chalet.

Polanski will not be allowed to leave the property, which has been fitted out with an electronic surveillance system. The director himself must wear an electronic ankle bracelet that tracks his movements.

"The permanent electronic tagging technology will trigger an alarm if Polanski leaves the house or removes the bracelet," the Swiss justice office said.

Authorities have also taken away Polanski's passport, while Interpol has placed countries on alert in case he tries to flee.

Extradition pending

Swiss officials say they will decide in the next few weeks whether to extradite Polanski to the United States to face charges of unlawful sex.

Roman Polanski
Polanski was arrested over two months ago in ZurichImage: AP

The film director fled the United States in 1978 after admitting having had sex with a 13-year-old in 1977. He avoided arrest for 30 years until Swiss authorities acted on a US warrant in late September.

If Switzerland does decide to send Polanski to the US, he could appeal, prolonging the case for months. Polanski's lawyers say he will not accept extradition.

Polanski's lawyers are set to ask a US appeals court to drop the charges, while the legal team for the victim, now a 46-year-old mother of three, has also called for the case to be dismissed.

They say the increased media attention is causing her anguish and disrupting her life.


Editor: Kyle James