Roman Polanski is leaving prison and will return imminently to his Swiss chalet after the Swiss Criminal Court granted $4.5m bail earlier today [November 25].
Polanski is considered by the authorities to be a high flight risk and will remain under electronic tagging, effectively placing him under house arrest at his Alpine residence.
The 76-year-old Polish-born film-maker will stay in Switzerland while authorities decide whether to extradite him to the US to face a court in relation to a series of charges dating back to 1997 including the rape of 13-year-old Samantha Geimer.
According to agency reports the Swiss Justice Minister said she would not appeal the court’s decision while Polanski’s future was discussed.
Polanksi’s lawyers made the offer of cash bail secured against his Paris apartment. It is understood the LA County district attorney’s office declined to comment on the development.
Polanski was arrested and taken into custody by Swiss authorities on September 26 after he arrived in Zurich to receive a lifetime achievement award.
He had made an earlier request for bail that had been rejected, however on this occassion the court demanded cash and accepted the security against his Paris home. Swiss legal experts said bail was highly unusual for people who are not full-time Swiss residents.
Polanski pled guilty in 1977 to the lesser charge of unlawful sexual intercourse and was released after serving 42 days of his sentence. He fled the US in February 1978 before he was ordered to return to prison. His attorneys argue that there were irregularities in the way the judge and prosecutors handled themselves. A California appeals court will hear arguments from Polanski’s attorneys next month.
Polanski is understood to have been working from prison on The Ghost, which is tipped to get its world premiere at Berlin in February.