Thursday, December 3, 2009

Film director Roman Polanski 'moved from Swiss jail'

Polanski's chalet

Film director Roman Polanski has been moved from a jail near Zurich to an undisclosed location for "security reasons", Swiss officials say.

Polanski, who has been held since September, is to be placed under house arrest at his Alpine chalet on Friday after being granted bail by a court.

He fled the US in 1978 after pleading guilty to having unlawful sex with an underage girl.

Switzerland is deciding whether to extradite him to the US.

A justice ministry spokesman said Polanski left the jail in Winterthur on Thursday for "security reasons and personal protection", AP news agency reported.

The spokesman said Polanski was still expected to be taken to his chalet in the luxury resort of Gstaad on Friday afternoon.

The 76-year-old film-maker will be fitted with an electronic bracelet that will activate if he attempts to abscond.

The Swiss Federal Criminal Court granted the Oscar-winning director $4.5m (£2.7m) bail, pending proceedings for his possible extradition to the US.

The director of films such as Rosemary's Baby, Chinatown and The Pianist was arrested after travelling to Zurich on 26 September to pick up a lifetime achievement award.

Polanski was accused of raping a 13-year-old girl after plying her with champagne and a sedative during a modelling shoot in 1977.

He was initially indicted on six counts - including rape by use of drugs, child molesting and sodomy - but pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of unlawful sexual intercourse.

Polanski fled the US on the day he was to be sentenced, and has lived in France since then.

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