Support for LAist comes from
We Explain L.A.
Stay Connected

Share This


Polanski the 'risk taker' Managed to Skirt 'legal nonsense' Until Now

Stories like these are only possible with your help!
You have the power to keep local news strong for the coming months. Your financial support today keeps our reporters ready to meet the needs of our city. Thank you for investing in your community.

Yesterday, Swiss officials refused to grant a bail request for the release of notorious film director Roman Polanski, who has been detained there since late last month following his arrest in Zurich on a thirty-year-old warrant from Los Angeles County. Feeling the flee-friendly and famed French citizen was a flight-risk, the Swiss are not bowing to pressure from members of foreign governments or cinema power-players to let the septuagenarian go.

Regardless of anyone's stance on the nature of his crimes, many are puzzled as to why Polanski would enter Switzerland in the first place, considering they have an established extradition treaty with the U.S. But his biographer, Christopher Sandford, points out that Polanski is a habitual "risk-taker," according to LA Now, having entered Holland--another nation with an extradition treaty with the US--as early as 1980, just two years after he fled Los Angeles for Europe in order to avoid sentencing in his rape trial. At the time, notes Sandford, Polanski seemed to shrug off concerns about arrest and extradition; he quotes the self-exiled director: "I'll be home again before there's any legal nonsense."

Home to Polanski has been France, though he owns a house in Switzerland (yes, the same country in which he remains imprisoned). But will Polanski be back in the US, back in an LA County courtroom, and sent to an LA County jail? It seems that is what LA County authorities are working towards.