Roman Polanski is Granted Bail, Could Be Released to House Arrest

Swiss court grants Oscar-winning director Roman Polanski bail.

November 25, 2009, 2:26 PM

Nov. 25, 2009 — -- Roman Polanskwas granted bail today after two months in a jail cell.

Polanski, 76, was granted bail by a Swiss court Wednesday, but the Oscar-winning director was not immediately released.

The director of "Chinatown" and "Rosemary's Baby" is expected to be fitted with a surveillance monitor in the coming days and allowed to be under house arrest at his Swiss residence.

He has been in a Swiss jail since he was arrested on Sept. 26 at the Zurich airport while on the way to accept an award at a film festival. He was charged as a fugitive from U.S. charges that he had sex with a 13-year-old girl in 1977.

The Swiss Federal Court of Bellizona announced today that it considered the nearly $4.49 million bail, along the electronic monitoring, as being "sufficient to avert the risk of flight" while Polanski fights extradition to the U.S.

Swiss Ministry of Justice spokesman Folco Galli told ABC News that the decision by the Swiss court is under review.

"The Ministry of Justice is examining the decision rendered by the court. We will decide quickly if we accept this decision or if we decide to lodge an appeal," said Galli. "If we accept the decision, Polanski will be released from jail after posting bail and after his house arrest has been organized. This won't be done immediately."

Polanski has a chalet in Gstaad in the Swiss Alps where he would likely go if released.

Polanski's lawyers Lorenz Erni in Zurich and Herve Temime in Paris declined to comment, according to the Associated Press. The Los Angeles County district attorney's office also had no reaction, spokeswoman Shiara Davila-Morales told the AP.

The court's decision to grant the director bail dose not affect the Swiss Justice Ministry's ongoing assessment of whether Polanski should be extradited to the United States.

Polanski is wanted in the United States after pleading guilty in 1977 to having sex with 13-year-old Samantha Geimer at the home of actor Jack Nicholson.

Polanski's Victim Does Not Want Him Prosecuted

He spent 43 days in a California jail where he underwent a psychriatric evaluation and was deemed mentally fit. But amid fears of facing a long-term prison sentence, Polanski fled the country before he was sentenced.

Since then, Polanski has lived in Europe but has avoided countries that have extradition agreements with the United States.

In 1997, Geimar, who is now in her early 40s, began advocating that Polanski's case should be dropped. Since then, she has continually said she forgives Polanski and does not want him to face further jail time.

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