(AFP) – Oct 30, 2009
GENEVA — The Swiss Federal Justice Office said Friday it had turned down another appeal by Oscar-winning director Roman Polanski to be released on bail from a Swiss jail where he is being held over a three-decades old child sex case.
Polanski had put up a "high" offer of bail on 26 October, but the Swiss Justice Ministry found that the "risk that he would escape was still too high," Folco Galli, spokesman for the ministry, told AFP.
Of the bail offer made by Polanski, Galli said it was "not cash" and that it "could not be seized if he fled."
The latest setback to Polanski came after a similar ruling made by Switzerland's top criminal court, which on October 20 rejected the filmmaker's bail request, assessing that there was a "high" risk that he could flee the country.
The court also found that Polanski's bail offer of his chalet in the Swiss ski resort of Gstaad was not in line with requirements set by the law. It then told Polanski that he could make a renewed bail offer to the Justice Office.
Following the latest rejection from the Justice Department, Polanski can make a fresh appeal within 10 days to the criminal court.
The director of "Rosemary's Baby", "Chinatown" and "The Pianist" has been regarded as a fugitive by US authorities since he fled the United States in 1978 after admitting to having sex with a 13-year-old girl.
He was detained by Swiss police acting on a US extradition warrant when he went to Zurich to collect an award at the city's film festival last month.
The United States has formally asked Switzerland to extradite Polanski, Swiss authorities said October 23.
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