Polanski spotted at home of Swiss jazz fest founder

Sat Jul 17, 2010 12:39pm EDT
 
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MONTREUX, Switzerland (Reuters) - French film director Roman Polanski was photographed arriving at the chalet of Montreux jazz festival founder Claude Nobs on Saturday, hours ahead of a concert by Polanski's singer wife Emmanuelle Seigner.

The Lausanne daily "24 Heures" posted a photo on its site of Polanski at the wheel of a black Range Rover, with Seigner in the passenger seat, arriving on Saturday afternoon at Nobs' home in the village of Caux above Montreux overlooking Lake Geneva.

It was the first public sighting of Polanski since he was freed on Monday from house arrest in his chalet in the Swiss resort of Gstaad after Swiss judicial authorities announced they would not extradite him to the United States.

Festival sources told Reuters that Polanski, a friend of Nobs for years, was expected to attend his wife's concert starting at 1800 GMT in Auditorium Stravinski. "He will certainly be there," said one source.

Polanski, 76, was arrested last September in Zurich, where he was to receive a film festival award, on the basis of a U.S. extradition request.

U.S. authorities want him to face sentencing related to having sex with a 13-year-old girl in California in 1977.

Swiss officials turned down the U.S. request, citing potential technical faults and saying it failed to clarify whether the director of films including "Chinatown" and "The Pianist" had in fact served his sentence more than 30 years ago.

Seigner, lead singer of the rock band Ultra Orange, is opening act on Saturday, the last day of the prestigious two-week annual event.

(Reporting by Stephanie Nebehay)

 
<p>Film director Roman Polanksi arrives at the 44th Montreux Jazz Festival in Montreux July 17, 2010. REUTERS/Denis Balibouse</p>