Roman Polanski’s request to be released from prison pending his possible extradition to the US was turned down by the Swiss Justice Ministry today (October 6).
The Ministry refused Polanski’s application over concerns that he would try to flee the country if released. His lawyers had hoped that he would get out bail or under house arrest.
Polanski, who holds dual Polish and French citizenship, was arrested as he arrived in Switzerland on September 26 to receive a lifetime achievement award from the Zurich Film Festival.
Swiss authorities were acting on a request from the US Department of Justice to hold the director for possible extradition. The US authorities have been seeking Polanski since he fled the country in 1978 after pleading guilty to having sex with a 13-year-old girl.
His legal team have also made a separate challenge against his arrest and he is now expected to remain custody until a ruling is made and appeals from either side have been completed.
The US has 60 days to file an extradition request, which will then have to be examined by the justice ministry. If approved it can be appealed in a number of courts. That process is due to start in the coming weeks.