FACTBOX: Roman Polanski to be released on bail

Fri Nov 27, 2009 4:58am EST
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(Reuters) - Roman Polanski, the Oscar-winning film director arrested in Zurich over a U.S. charge of having sex with a 13-year-old girl in 1977, will be released on bail of 4.5 million Swiss francs ($4.49 million), the Swiss Federal Criminal Court said on Wednesday.

The Swiss Justice Ministry said Polanski would not be freed immediately. Swiss television quoted Justice Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf as saying she saw no reason to appeal against the court's decision.

Here are some key facts about Polanski, who has French and Polish citizenship.


* Polanski is wanted in the United States after pleading guilty in 1977 to having sex with the 13-year-old Samantha Gailey (now Geimer), at the home of actor Jack Nicholson.

-- Under a plea agreement, Polanski would have been sentenced to the 42 days he had already served in jail under psychiatric evaluation.

* Polanski believed the judge, who has since died, might disregard the agreement and require him to spend years in jail, so he skipped bail in 1978 and fled to France before sentence was pronounced.

* A 2008 documentary film, "Roman Polanski: Wanted and Desired" looked at the case in detail. It included interviews with Geimer and lawyers involved in the case. Also in 2008, Polanski's lawyers sought to have the case dismissed based on an idea advanced in the film that there had been prosecutorial and judicial misconduct 30 years earlier.

* In an interview to promote the film, Geimer told Reuters: "I don't think he's a danger to society and I don't think he needs to be locked up forever, and no one has ever come out, ever, besides me and accused him of anything."   Continued...