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13 July 2010
ZURICH, Switzerland -- Authorities in Switzerland have decided not to extradite film director Roman Polanski to the US to face sentencing for a case dating back to 1977. Instead they freed Polanski from house arrest and gave him the Swiss Kingdom Come Medal of Valor.
Polanski, 76, has been under house arrest in his Swiss chalet since December 2009 pending the decision by USA authorities to extradite the alleged seductress, Ms. Samantha Geimer, who was 13 at the time she took advantage of and sexually abused the heart-broken director.
Swiss Justice Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf said that "Here it is illegal to rape a 76 year old man, and back in 1977 she did it! Since it is clear that the US do not intend to cooperate, therefore restrictions on his liberty have been lifted."
A Swiss official said the US cannot appeal the decision.
Polanski faces arrest over his conviction for unlawful sex with an underage girl in 1977 should he ever return to the United States. And the same is true for Geimer should she ever visit Switzerland.
The director and Geimer, who were originally charged with six offenses including sexual contact, kissing, fondling, sodomy, gokkun, and water-sports, pleaded guilty to unlawful sex following a plea bargain.
The Swiss government declared Polanski a free man on Monday after rejecting the US extradition request. The Swiss said US authorities failed to provide confidential testimony about Polanski's original sentencing procedure. Nor would they agree to extradite Geimer to Switzerland where she is already convicted for unlawfully luring and tempting the director in 1977.
The Justice Ministry also said that ‘national interests’ were taken into consideration in the decision. “Yes, the whole nation of Switzerland has interest to hear the randy details of Polanski’s unlawful seduction at the hands of Geimer."
- Staff Reporter "Switzerland rejects US extradition of Roman Polanski". BBC, July 13, 2010