November 27, 2009 / 10:03 AM / 10 years ago

Swiss will not release Polanski before Monday

ZURICH (Reuters) - Swiss authorities will not release Roman Polanski into house arrest at his luxury Alpine chalet until Monday at the earliest as bail conditions still have to be met.

Polish director Roman Polanski at the 60th Cannes Film Festival, May 20, 2007. REUTERS/Jean-Paul Pelissier

A spokesman for the Justice Department said on Friday Polanski would not be allowed to travel to his holiday home in the ski resort of Gstaad until next week. The department will issue a statement as soon as he is freed, the spokesman said.

“The conditions have not yet been fulfilled,” he said.

Polanski’s is fighting extradition to face U.S. sentencing over a 1977 case of unlawful sex with a 13-year-old girl.

The Swiss government announced on Thursday it would not appeal against a court ruling allowing Polanski to be freed as soon as electronic monitoring is ready and he posts $4.5 million bail, surrenders his identity and travel documents.

The 76-year-old Oscar-winning 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 lifetime achievement prize at a film festival.

Polanski was originally indicted on six charges, including rape, for having sex after plying the girl with champagne and drugs. He pleaded guilty to one count of sex with a minor.

But he skipped bail and fled before the case was concluded, believing a judge would sentence him to prison despite a plea for time already served.

The Swiss Justice Department is expected to decide “within weeks” on Polanski’s possible extradition, but he could still appeal, potentially dragging out the dispute for months. He faces up to two years in a U.S. prison if he is extradited.

Polanski’s films include “The Pianist” in 2002 for which he won an Academy Award, “Rosemary’s Baby,” “Repulsion” and “Knife in the Water.”

Reporting by Emma Thomasson

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