Swiss filmmakers question Polanski decision delay

13th July 2010, Comments 0 comments

Swiss independent filmmakers on Tuesday welcomed Bern's decision to reject a request to extradite Roman Polanski to the United States, but asked why Bern took so much time to make the move.

"The Group of Authors, Directors and Producers welcome the decision of the Federal Office of Justice," it said in a statement.

Pointing to Bern's explanations for its decision, the group "asked if such an analysis could not have been done more quickly.

"In fact, (the analysis could have been done) preferably, before the arrest of the filmmaker on our territory," it said.

The group claimed that the arrest was a "serious act and has drastic consequences for the individual Roman Polanski and for cinema and the image of Switzerland in the world."

"We repeat -- film festivals should not become an ambush for artistes," it said.

Polanski was arrested last September in the northern Swiss city of Zurich where he was to attend a film festival.

He was jailed before being placed under house arrest in December.

The filmmaker was freed Monday after Swiss authorities threw out a US request to extradite the director to face child sex charges dating to 1977.

Bern said the US Justice Department had failed to provide records of a hearing in which the Oscar-winning director claimed his case had been settled and sentence agreed.

© 2010 AFP

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