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Polanski visits Montreux Jazz Festival

Roman Polanski has made his first public appearance since being released on Monday from house arrest in Switzerland, attending the Montreux Jazz Festival.

This content was published on July 18, 2010 - 10:11

Polanski, 76, was detained last September in Zurich - where he was to receive a film festival award - on the basis of a United States request. He then spent nine months under house arrest in his chalet in Gstaad.

The film director watched his wife, actress and singer Emmanuelle Seigner, perform on stage at Montreux on Saturday evening.

US authorities want Polanski to face sentencing related to having sex with a 13-year-old girl in California in 1977.

Swiss officials turned down the 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.

In an interview with Swiss television, Polanski thanked, "the millions of people who kept sending me messages of support during those nine long months”, as well as the residents of Gstaad.

"I would also certainly thank my wife Emmanuelle and my children, without whom I would have never been able to hold onto my dignity and perseverance," Polanski said.

swissinfo.ch and agencies

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