Roman Polanski arrested in Switzerland
The Los Angeles County district attorney's office learned last week that Polanski had plans to travel to Zurich this weekend, said Sandi Gibbons, spokeswoman for the district attorney's office.
Prosecutors sent a provisional arrest warrant to the
"But in the end, he apparently found out about it and didn't go," she said.
Asked if prosecutors would ask that Polanski be sentenced to time behind bars if he was returned to the U.S., she said, "We've always maintained this is a matter between Polanski and the court. We initially recommended prison time for him, but I can't see into the future."
An attorney for Polanski, Chad Hummel, declined to comment. "Right now, we're not in a position to say anything," he said.
Polanski, now 76 and a married father of two, asked the court to throw out the entire case in December based on new allegations of prosectorial and judicial misconduct detailed in an HBO
Polanski was arrested 31 years ago at a Beverly Hills hotel after a 13-year-old girl accused him of sexually assaulting her during a photo shoot at actor
A 1978 arrest warrant, issued after he failed to appear at his sentencing on the statutory-rape conviction, is still in effect, and he would be taken into custody upon arrival on U.S. soil. The director of "Chinatown" and "Rosemary's Baby" has not returned to the U.S. since then but continues to work as a director, winning
The Swiss Justice Ministry said Polanski was taken into custody after he flew in to receive an award at the Zurich Film Festival. According to authorities there, he can fight extradition to the United States.
The ministry issued the following statement:
"Yesterday evening Roman Polanski was arrested at his arrival and was put in provisional detention in view to extradition based on an US arrest warrant. The US authorities are accusing Roman Polanski of sexual acts with minors, specifically in a case of 1977 with a 13 year old girl in Los Angeles. Since the end of 2005 the US authorities are searching worldwide for Roman Polanski.
"An US arrest warrant against Roman Polanski exists since 1978. Whether Roman Polanski will be effectively extradited to the USA or not, can be established only, after the extradition process judicially has been finalised. It is possible to appeal at the federal penal court of justice against an arrest warrant in view to extradition as well as against an extradition decision. Their decisions can be taken further to the federal court of justice. In respect to this pending process it is not possible to give any further information."