Roman Polanski to attend Zurich film fest

Cologne, Germany, Sept 15 (Calcutta Tube / IBNS) French-Polish filmmaker Roman Polanski will be attending Zurich Film Festival, two years after he was arrested on sexual assault charges when he tried to visit the fest.


He will fly to Zurich on September 27 to receive the lifetime achievement award at the festival.


The organizers were to confer the award to him in 2009. But the Oscar-winning director was arrested before at the airport at that time.


According to reports, Polanski (78) has already said he will not give any interviews in Zurich as well as at the film festival.


On 11 March 1977, the filmmaker, then 43 years old, was arrested for the sexual assault of 13-year-old Samantha Geimer during a photo shoot for French Vogue magazine.


Soon after, he was indicted on six counts of criminal behavior, including rape. At his arraignment Polanski pled not guilty to all charges.


On release from prison after 42 days, Polanski expected that at final sentencing he would be put on probation, but the judge, Laurence J. Rittenband, had apparently changed his mind in the interim and now “suggested” to Polanski’s attorney, Douglas Dalton, that more jail time and possible deportation were in order.


Upon learning of the judge’s plans Polanski fled to France on February 1, 1978, just hours before sentencing by the judge.


As a French citizen, he has been protected from extradition and has lived mostly in France since then.


On 26 September 2009, Polanski was arrested while in Switzerland at the request of U.S. authorities.


He was kept in jail near Zurich for two months, then put under house arrest at his home in Gstaad while awaiting decision of appeals fighting extradition to the U.S.


On 12 July 2010 the Swiss rejected the U.S. request and instead declared him a “free man” and released him from custody, although all six of the original charges still remain pending in the U.S.

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