The Swiss Ministry of Justice has announced that Roman Polanski, who has been under house arrest since late last year, will not be extradited to the US to face charges related to his 1977 rape of a 13-year-old girl.
There are not many great English-language stories on this yet, but Shaker The Bald Soprano forwarded this article, which includes a statement from the Swiss Ministry of Justice: "In Anbetracht der nicht ausgeräumten Zweifel bezüglich der Sachverhaltsdarstellung ist das Ersuchen abzulehnen." My German is pretty rusty, but that approximately translates to: "In consideration of the unresolved doubts regarding the facts of the case, the request is to be rejected."
It's not really clear from what I've read so far whether they're questioning the evidence of the crime, or the motives of pursuing extradition now. In any case, they appear to be releasing him because they think the whole thing is bullshit, and, hey, he's a Swiss VIP!
Swiss Justice Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf said she had decided against extradition because of potential technical faults in the U.S. extradition requests but also because Polanski had for years come to Switzerland in good faith.Well. That's inappropriately gleeful.
"He is a free man since 1130 today," she told a news conference in Switzerland's capital Berne.
"He can go to France or to Poland, anywhere where he will not be arrested," she said.