First decision on Polanski bail due this week

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Swiss authorities said Monday they expect to rule this week on a request by Roman Polanski for bail.

Geneva -- Swiss authorities said Monday that they expect to rule by 10 October on a request by Roman Polanski for bail, as the detained filmmaker faces a legal battle against extradition.

Lawyers for the Oscar-winning director said they twice requested Polanski's release following his arrest on a US warrant, one with the Federal Justice Office and the other with the Switzerland's top criminal court.

"We will learn during the week of the decision by the Federal Justice Office," office spokesman Folco Galli told AFP.

Bail is rarely granted in extradition cases according to the Swiss Justice Ministry.

The request for bail was made on 29 September. Polanski simultaneously asked the Federal Criminal Tribunal to reverse his arrest in Switzerland over a 32-year-old child sex case in California and for bail pending a decision.

The tribunal did not indicate when it will rule but Justice Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf said in a newspaper interview on Sunday that she hoped for a swift decision.

Both the court and administrative decisions are open to appeal.

The 76-year-old French-Polish filmmaker, who is considered a fugitive in the United States, was arrested in late September as he arrived in Zurich to collect a lifetime achievement award at a local film festival.

US prosecutors have 30 days to file their extradition request in Switzerland.

AFP / Expatica

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