Filmmaker attempts to raise $4.5 million bail
Roman Polanski will remain in jail until Friday as the filmmaker raises the $4.5 million bail, Swiss authorities said Tuesday.
A Swiss court last week approved Polanski’s release on bail and his house arrest at his Alpine chalet in the winter resort of Gstaad while the government decides whether to extradite him to the U.S. for having sex with a 13-year-old girl in 1977.
Unlike in the U.S., where bail bondsmen can post a percentage of the total bail to get someone released from jail, Swiss law requires that bail be paid in full.
Swiss Federal Justice Ministry spokesman Folco Galli said a delay in transferring the $4.5 million bail money needed to secure the terms of the house arrest had held up Polanski’s release. Galli added that all other conditions had been met.
Polanski has been incarcerated since his arrest on Sept. 26 on a U.S. warrant as he arrived in Switzerland to receive a lifetime achievement award at the Zurich Film Festival.
The Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office has been seeking to extradite Polanski in order to sentence him in the child sex case.
Polanski fled the U.S. in 1978 after pleading guilty to the crime.
Switzerland’s Justice Ministry is expected to decide on the extradition request in the next few weeks. An extradition would also be subject to appeals, however.
L.A. prosecutors originally accused Polanski of raping the 13-year-old girl after plying her with champagne and a Quaalude pill during a modeling shoot in 1977. He was initially indicted on six felony counts, including rape by use of drugs, child molestation and sodomy, but he pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of unlawful sexual intercourse but escaped to Europe before he could be sentenced.
Polanski had been finishing up work on his political thriller “The Ghost,” an adaptation of Robert Harris’ novel starring Ewan McGregor and Pierce Brosnan, at the time of his arrest.
Harris, who co-wrote the screenplay with Polanski, has said the film was completed during Polanski’s incarceration according to the director’s instructions.