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Polanski free to leave prison on bail

Film director Roman Polanski is set to be released from prison and placed under house arrest after Swiss justice authorities approved his bail conditions.

The Federal Justice Office said on Thursday that it would not contest a decision by the Federal Criminal Court to uphold Polanski's appeal against detention pending extradition.

Bail was set at SFr4.5 million ($4.5 million) and Polanski will be able to move to his chalet in Gstaad once it has been paid, an electronic tag fitted to his person and his identity papers handed over to Zurich cantonal authorities.

The Federal Criminal Court estimated that SFr4.5 million was a substantial portion of the fortune of the 76-year-old French-Polish director and as a father-of-two he would not risk the financial security of his family by skipping bail.

Polanski was arrested on an international arrest warrant on September 26 as he arrived in Zurich to be honoured at the city's film festival. He is wanted in the United States for having sex with a 13-year-old girl in 1977 in Los Angeles.

The Federal Justice Office will decide "within weeks" whether to accept the United States request to extradite Polanski, a spokesman said. A closed-door hearing on the case for extradition has already taken place. The film maker faces up to two years in a US prison if he is extradited.

swissinfo.ch and agencies


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