Sarkozy gave Polanski 'great support'

27th November 2009, Comments 0 comments

France's President Nicolas Sarkozy has given Roman Polanski "great support" in his battle to avoid going to jail for having sex with a 13-year-old girl, according to the filmmaker's sister-in-law.

PARIS - The 76-year-old Oscar-winner is expected to be released on bail by Swiss authorities, but will wear an electronic tag and remain at his chalet while awaiting judgement on a US extradition request.

"I wouldn't go so far as to say that it is thanks to the president that Roman has been freed, but he has been super. He gave him great support. The president has been very effective," Mathilde Seigner told Le Parisien newspaper.

The actress, the sister of Polanski's wife Emmanuelle Seigner, gave no details of the support. She said she was delighted that Polanski would be able to spend Christmas with his family and complained that he had been treated harshly by the press.

Polanski fled the United States in 1978 after pleading guilty to having illegal sex with the girl.

Acting on a US warrant, Swiss police detained Polanski when he arrived at Zurich airport on September 26 to attend a film festival where he was to receive a special award.

He has since been held in a Swiss jail, while his lawyers fight the US extradition bid.

In France, Polanski has received support from a large section of the cultural and political elite, including Sarkozy's Culture Minister Frederic Mitterrand.


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