The fugitive film director Roman Polanski has won his appeal to be freed on bail in Switzerland. A Swiss federal tribunal ordered his release on payment of three million euros. The Swiss Justice Ministry had to approve the decision, but said it sees no reason not to do so.
The 76-year-old film-maker was arrested in Switzerland in September on an American extradition request. He was there to pick up a lifetime achievement award. His French lawyer said last week that Polanski would not return voluntarily to America, where he claims he did not receive a fair trial. He fled the United States in 1978 while awaiting sentencing for having unlawful sex with a 13-year-old girl, and has never been back. If he does fight extradition, the process could take months or even years. Polanski has been seen as a high-flight risk, but his defence says he is prepared to wear an electronic tag and offer other guarantees that he will not leave Switzerland.