The shamed filmmaker has been in prison in Switzerland since his arrest in September (09) on an international warrant relating to a 1977 charge of unlawful sex with an under-age girl. Polanski pleaded guilty to the crime but fled the U.S. in 1978 before he could be sentenced.
The director was finally granted bail on Wednesday (25Nov09), after his three previous bids for freedom were rejected, and he is now being prepared for release after Swiss officials waived their right to appeal the decision.
Polanski’s sister-in-law, Mathilde Seigner, admits she is delighted the star will soon be free, telling French newspaper Le Parisien, “I am very happy and relieved. We’re going to drink a nice glass of champagne and toast together.”
Authorities in the country have refused to announce when the 76 year old will be released, but a statement from the Swiss justice department on Thursday (26Nov09) reveals preparations are underway. The statement reads, “Polanski will be released from custody as soon as bail has been transferred, ID and travel documents have been lodged, and the electronic monitoring system has been installed and tested.”
While Ministry spokesman Folco Galli tells the Associated Press the release will be handled quietly, “We don’t want to show him off like an exotic animal.”
Polanski will reportedly be transferred to his luxury ski chalet in the resort of Gstaad, where he will remain under house arrest until the Swiss government decides whether to allow an extradition request which will see him sent back to the U.S. to receive his punishment.