Polanski free, Swiss reject U.S. extradition request

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Posted: Jul 12, 2010 1:25 PM
Source: Associated Press

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Topics: Roman Polanski, Swiss, extradition, Switzerland, fugitive, WBRZ

Although Swiss authorities say he's a free man -- and that he can leave the home where he's been under house arrest since December -- Roman Polanski remains a fugitive in the United States.

The Swiss decided today not to honor an extradition request from the U.S., where Polanski faced jail time for having sex with a 13-year-old girl before fleeing the country three decades ago.

There's no word from prosecutors in Los Angeles and Washington on their next steps.

They can't appeal the Swiss decision.

It's been praised by senior government officials in France and Poland, where he holds dual citizenship.

But there was criticism from groups representing victims of sexual abuse.

The move came as a surprise.

Polanski had suffered a series of legal setbacks this year in California courts, and Switzerland only
rejects about 5 percent of the 200 extradition requests it handles annually.

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