Roman Polanski freed by Swiss court on US$4.9 million bail
Film director, Roman Polanski, is to be released from prison after Switzerland’s top criminal court made a decision to allow him freedom, but under house arrest. The court has overturned two previous decisions to keep him in jail after lawyers for Polanski offered that he wear an electronic tracking device as well as putting up 4.5 million Swiss francs (US$4,490.000) in surety.
It is reported that the Swiss court has considered Mr Polanski’s age and the monetary guarantee is against him fleeing again. He has also had to deposit identity papers and wear an electronic monitoring device which is considered sufficient to prevent risk of flight.
The film director, who holds dual Polish and French citizenship, has lived in France for many years with his wife and children. Polanski was arrested on 26 September 2009 on an American arrest warrant when he arrived as guest of honor at a film festival in Zurich. He escaped to Europe from the US in 1978 before he could be sentenced after admitting to unlawful sex with 13-year-old Samantha Geimer, 31 years ago.
The Swiss justice Minister, Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf, has been reported as confirming that she “sees no reason” for the government to challenge the court decision.
The director, 76, will now be allowed out to return to his holiday chalet, but will be required to remain there while he fights extradition proceedings to the US.
Samantha Greimer talks to Mirror.coUK about her ordeal as a 13 year old
So what about Samantha Greimer? She is now 45 years old, married with three children and lives in Hawaii. In a frank interview in July 2009 with UK celebrity magazine Mirror.coUK, she recounted the sordid details of the rape. It reads like every family’s horror story – a vulnerable teenager lured by a much older predator, plied with liquor, drugged and used for sexual gratification – then told to keep her mouth shut and not tell anyone.
Polanski, who was 43 at the time, violated the youngster eight years after losing pregnant Sharon in the brutal 1969 slaying by the Charles Manson “family”.
Director Polanski, who won an Oscar for The Pianist in 2003, was arrested and spent 45 days behind bars. His six charges included unlawful sex with a minor and forcible rape. In a bizarre twist, the trial was set for August 9, the eighth anniversary of Sharon Tate’s death. But Polanski never came to trial. A friend of Polanski’s overheard the judge vow to put him away for “100 years” and the director fled the US never to return.
Should Polanski be extradited to the US to face trial in the country where he allegedly committed the crime?
It seems logical and fair that Polanski should be extradited to the US to face court proceedings in the country where the alleged offense took place. Even if Samantha Greimer is not interested in dragging up the past, Polanski should pay for what he did. Clearly, his motives would appear to have been pre-meditated when he robbed a young girl of her innocence, then took the coward’s way out and fled the US. It remains to be seen whether he will abide by his “house arrest” – or whether he will try to flee Switzerland for Poland and again avoid having to pay for his actions.
The question also remains – why would any parent let their 13 year old daughter go unsupervised on a modeling photo-shoot with anyone, let alone with a famous, somewhat notorious show-biz personality 43 years of age in Hollywood?
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