Director Roman Polanski was arrested by Swiss police as he flew in for the Zurich Film Festival and faces possible extradition to the United States for having sex in 1977 with a 13-year-old girl, authorities have said.Click through for the rest of the article.
Polanski was scheduled to receive an honorary award at the festival when he was apprehended Saturday at the airport, the Swiss Justice Ministry said in a statement. It said US authorities have sought the arrest of the 76-year-old director around the world since 2005.
"There was a valid arrest request and we knew when he was coming," ministry spokesman Guido Balmer told The Associated Press. "That's why he was taken into custody."
Polanski, the director of such classic films as "Chinatown," "Rosemary's Baby," fled the US in 1978, a year after pleading guilty to unlawful sexual intercourse with the underage girl.
Polanski has asked a US appeals court in California to overturn a judges' refusal to throw out his case. He claims misconduct by the now-deceased judge who had arranged a plea bargain and then reneged on it.
His victim, Samantha Geimer, who long ago identified herself publicly, has joined in Polanski's bid for dismissal, saying she wants the case to be over. She sued Polanski and reached an undisclosed settlement.
Balmer, the Swiss spokesman, said the US would now have to make a formal extradition request. A US Justice Department spokeswoman in Washington declined to comment on the case Sunday.
So let me get this straight. Polanski rapes a 13 year old in 1977, flees the country to avoid the consequences, and has been evading arrest ever since. I heard someone from the international film community on the radio saying he couldn't understand why Polanski had been arrested as he had just made a tiny mistake 30 years ago and so many millions of people loved his films. I just cannot understand that mindset.