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Polanski Is A Free Man

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Jul 12, 2010 | 5:56am EDT

Roman PolanskiRoman Polanski is a free man. Swiss authorities have decided not to extradite the director to the US to face sentencing in his 1977 unlawful sex case. Polanski has been under house arrest in Gstaad since December last year pending the decision. In a statement, the Swiss Justice Minister said the "measures of restriction on his liberty have been lifted."

Polanski was released from electronic monitoring, the Justice Ministry said today. “Mr. Polanski is able to move around freely,” Swiss Justice Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf said at a press conference in Bern. “He’s been a free man since 11:30 a.m. today. He’s free to leave.”

Widner-Schlumpf added, "The reason for the decision lies in the fact that it was not possible to exclude with the necessary certainty a fault in the US extraditionary request."

“Today it’s about a remaining sentence of maximum of two years,” Widmer-Schlumpf said. After his imprisonment and house arrest, 10 months remain, she said. “Under consideration of all aspects, we’ve decided to reject the extradition request.”

According to Widmer-Schlumpf, the US has accepted the decision. It does not have the possibility to appeal.

George Kiejman, Polanski's lawyer, told Swiss Info, "I pay tribute to the Swiss justice system; its legal analysis is very fair. I think the continuing misunderstanding with the American authorities will be easier to settle and I hope he will one day be able to return to the US.”

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