First he was out of jail. Then he was staying. After that, the operative phrase was “Friday release.” Now, finally, it looks at though film director Roman Polanski will be hitting the slopes at his Gstaad chalet this Friday. Today, according to Associated Press, Swiss justice officials moved the auteur from his jail cell in Winterthur, outside Zurich, to an undisclosed location. Agence France Presse was told by Swiss justice department official Folco Galli that the relocation was done for “security reasons and protection of the person.”
Friday, the Swiss say, he will enter home detention at his chalet, which has recently been the hub of activity as workers cleared nearby roadways of snow. Polanski will be confined to his estate’s grounds and wear an electronic monitoring bracelet, although not a GPS device that would pinpoint his precise whereabouts.
Calls to Polanski’s Los Angeles legal team were referred to spokeswoman Sarah Ingram, who told TheWrap there would be no comment on the recent developments – or when Polanski’s lawyers believe Swiss judges will rule on an American extradition request that would return him to Los Angeles.
There, Polanski would face an uncertain legal fate over long-ago charges that he had sex with a 13-year-old girl in 1977. Polanski has spent about 70 days behind bars in Switzerland, nearly the entire length of a 90-day sentence that had been floated between Polanski’s lawyers and L.A. prosecutors in 1977 during plea talks. He also spent 42 days under psychiatric observation in 1978 at Chino State Prison, shortly before he fled the U.S. to avoid final sentencing in L.A. Superior Court.
Polanski’s Los Angeles attorneys are fighting a second front in the state court of appeals, where they are attempting to obtain a ruling that would allow Polanski to petition to have his case thrown out without having to personally appear before Superior Court Judge Peter Espinoza. The next hearing date on that motion is December 10.