“Mr. Polanski can now move freely. Since 12:30 today he’s a free man,” Switzerland’s Justice Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf declared.
This is in relation to the Swiss government’s rejection of the United States’ request to extradite renowned film director Roman Polanski on a charge of having sex in 1977 with a 13-year-old girl.
The Swiss put most of the blame on U.S. authorities who failed to provide confidential testimony about Polanski’s sentencing procedure in 1977-1978.
Washington rejected the request of the Swiss government for the confidential testimony given on Jan. 26 by Roger Gunson, the Los Angeles attorney in charge of the original prosecution against Polanski.
Hence, Mr. Polanski can now move freely after having been on house arrest since December. Authorities in Los Angeles and Washington cannot appeal the Swiss decision.
“The 76-year-old French-Polish film director Roman Polanski will not be extradited to the USA,” the ministry said in a statement.
French Culture Minister Frederic Mitterrand’s office also expressed satisfaction with the Swiss government’s decision, which came nine months after Mitterrand said Polanski had been “thrown to the lions.”