Famed French filmmaker Polanski declared a “free man”
Press Trust of India Monday, July 12, 2010 (London)
Controversial French filmmaker Roman Polanski was declared a “free man” as Swiss authorities today rejected the US request to extradite him on charges of having sex with a 13-year-old girl in 1977.
“The Franco-Polish filmmaker will not be extradited to the United States and the restrictions on his liberty have been lifted,” Swiss justice minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf announced at a press conference in the Swiss capital Bern, BBC reported.
The Swiss announcement virtually means that the Oscar-winning director of The Pianist is free man. Polanski, 76, has been under house arrest in his chalet since December 2009 pending the decision on a US warrant.
The warrant originally confined the director to prison before being bailed out on USD 4.5 million.
The maker of classics like Rosemary’s Baby and Macbeth, during his confinement in the chalet, had to face the ignonimity of being fitted with an electronic tracer bracelet.
The charges against Polanski flow from allegations that he plied a teenage girl named Samantha Geimer with champagne and drugs during a photo-shoot 34 years ago at the home of his actor friend Jack Nicholson before raping her.
The film director, won an Oscar for his 2002 film The Pianist, but was unable to collect the award because of his fugitive status.