Director Polanski feels depressed in jail: lawyer

ZURICH Sun Oct 11, 2009 9:22am EDT

Herve Temime, lawyer of Polish-born film director Roman Polanski, is seen at the trial, called the ''Clearstream Affair'', at the courthouse in Paris on September 29, 2009. REUTERS/Charles Platiau

Herve Temime, lawyer of Polish-born film director Roman Polanski, is seen at the trial, called the ''Clearstream Affair'', at the courthouse in Paris on September 29, 2009.

Credit: Reuters/Charles Platiau

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ZURICH (Reuters) - Director Roman Polanski is feeling depressed two weeks after his arrest in Switzerland to face U.S. extradition for a 1977 case involving the rape of a 13-year-old girl, his lawyer was quoted as saying on Sunday.

"I found him to be tired and depressed," Herve Temime told the Sonntag newspaper, one of two newspapers he talked to after visiting the Oscar-winning director in a Zurich prison.

"Roman Polanski, who is 76, seemed very dejected when I visited him," Temime told another newspaper, NZZ am Sonntag.

"Polanski was in an unsettled state of mind."

Polanski pleaded guilty in Los Angeles to having sex with a 13-year-old girl in 1977 and spent 42 days in prison undergoing psychiatric tests.

However, he fled before the case was concluded because he believed a judge would sentence him to up to 50 years behind bars despite a plea agreement for time already served.

Swiss authorities rejected an appeal on Tuesday to release Polanski and also urged a Swiss court dealing with his extradition warrant to reject another appeal by Polanski's lawyers to have him freed, and to refuse bail.

Swiss officials have said they believe there is a very high risk of Polanski fleeing if he is released on bail.

Temime told the Sonntag newspaper the Swiss Federal Penal Court should decide "very soon" on his bid for release on bail.

"He would fulfill all the conditions and stay in Switzerland until the extradition proceeding are decided," he said.

The director, who holds dual French and Polish citizenship, was arrested at the request of the United States when he flew into Switzerland on September 26 to receive a life-time achievement prize at a film festival.

(Reporting by Emma Thomasson; editing by Michael Roddy)

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