Swiss delay Polanski decision

Filmmaker to remain in chalet until next year

BERLIN — Roman Polanski will be spending the holidays in Switzerland.

The Swiss Justice Ministry said on Wednesday that it would wait until next year to decide the fate of the filmmaker, who is under house arrest at his chalet in the winter resort of Gstaad.

The Swiss government is considering an extradition request from the U.S., which wants Polanski returned to Los Angeles for sentencing over a 1977 case of unlawful sex with a minor.

There will be nothing more this year,” said Justice Ministry spokesman Folco Galli. “At the earliest, we’ll make an announcement early next year as to whether the criteria for extradition have been met.”

Polanski is to remain under house arrest until then. He will be able to appeal the ministry’s decision, potentially dragging out the dispute for months.

The 76-year-old Oscar-winning director, who holds dual French and Polish citizenship, was arrested at the request of the U.S. government on Sept. 26 after arriving in Switzerland to receive a lifetime achievement at the Zurich Film Festival. He was released into house arrest this month after spending two months in a Swiss prison.

Polanski pleaded guilty to having sex with a 13-year-old girl but fled the U.S. on the eve of his 1978 sentencing.

Last week, Polanski’s U.S. attorney argued for a dismissal of the case citing judicial misconduct. The state Court of Appeal in Los Angeles could issue a ruling before the Swiss decide on the extradition request.

The Berlin Film Festival on Tuesday announced that Polanski’s political thriller “The Ghost Writer,” which stars Ewan McGregor and Pierce Brosnan, would screen in Competition at the event in February.

(Wire agencies contributed to this report.)

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