Swiss authorities will not extradite Roman Polanski to the U.S. until a Los Angeles judge determines if he will serve time behind bars on 32 year old unlawful sex charges. Polanski pleaded guilty to having sex with 13-year-old Samantha Geimer in 1977.
In exchange for the plea, the judge dropped a string of harsher charges and sent him to prison for a 90-day psychiatric evaluation. He was released after 42 days but fled the U.S. after the judge revealed he would be sent back to prison to serve out the remaining time. Polanski was arrested in Zurich in 2009 after years in exile. He has since been placed under house arrest in Switzerland after losing his battle to avoid extradition in January.
However, on Friday, February 12, Swiss Justice Ministry's deputy director Rudolf Wyss revealed the court would wait for a definitive ruling from Los Angeles officials before sending Polanski back to face the charges - insisting flying him to the U.S. now would make "no sense". Wyss tells The Associated Press, "When the question (about whether he should serve prison time) is still open, why should he be extradited? As long as the question is still open, our decision depends on that."
Polanski can avoid extradition if a Los Angeles judge rules he does not have to face further punishment, or if he is sentenced to less than six months additional time. The Swiss authorities' decision came on the same day Polanski's latest movie, "The Ghost Writer", premiered at the Berlin International Film Festival. Polanski was not present at the event.