Roman Polanski remained in jail Monday, despite visits from his lawyer and a French diplomat, and it was unclear if the director had met Switzerland’s demand of a full bail payment of $4.5 million to be released.
The Swiss Justice Ministry declined to say what guarantees Polanski needed to give to be transferred from the jail near Zurich to house arrest at his chalet in the luxury resort of Gstaad.
In addition to bail, the 76-year-old filmmaker must surrender his identity papers and be fitted with an electronic monitoring bracelet. He would not be allowed to leave his property as he awaits a decision on whether he will be extradited to the U.S. for having sex in 1977 with a 13-year-old girl.
“The bail must be wired to a bank account, and the bank must then notify us that it has received the bail,” ministry spokesman Folco Galli said. “Nothing happens before that.”
The full bail payment is standard practice in Switzerland, Galli said.
That is different from other countries such as the United States, where bail bondsmen often post a percentage of the total payment required by a court.
Polanski has been in Swiss custody since being arrested Sept. 26 on a U.S. warrant as he arrived in Zurich to receive a lifetime achievement award at a film festival. Authorities in Los Angeles want him returned to be sentenced after 31 years as a fugitive.
The director of such film classics as “Rosemary’s Baby,” “Chinatown” and “The Pianist” was being held at a jail in Winterthur, near Zurich, where he was visited Monday by his lawyer Lorenz Erni and French diplomat Jean-Luc Faure-Tournaire.
“He is in good spirits. He is very happy about how he has been treated here,” Faure-Tournaire said. He expected Polanski to leave jail soon, but he could not say how quickly.
Erni stayed for several hours in the jail, and refused to answer questions when he left. Contacted by telephone, Polanski’s Paris lawyer Herve Temime also declined to comment.
In the central resort town of Gstaad, however, workers were seen clearing heavy snow from the road leading up to Polanski’s property, a three-story stucco and wood home with its own garden. The chalet is where he would be confined until extradition is decided and any appeals are complete.
It was unclear when Polanski’s wife and two children would join him in Gstaad. His sister-in-law, Mathilde Seigner, told the Le Parisien newspaper that his family usually goes to the chalet around Christmas and plans to meet there again this year.
The director has been in Swiss custody since being arrested Sept. 26 on a U.S. warrant as he arrived in Zurich to receive a lifetime achievement award at a film festival. Authorities in Los Angeles want him returned to be officially sentenced after 31 years as a fugitive.
Polanski was initially accused of raping the girl after plying her with champagne and a Quaalude pill during a modeling shoot in 1977. He was indicted on six felony counts, including rape by use of drugs, child molestation and sodomy, but he pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of unlawful sexual intercourse.
In exchange, the judge agreed to drop the remaining charges and sent him to prison for a 90-day psychiatric evaluation. The evaluator released Polanski after 42 days, but the judge said he was going to send him back to serve out the 90 days.
Polanski fled the U.S. on Feb. 1, 1978, the day he was to be formally sentenced. He has lived since then in France, which does not extradite its citizens.
Polanski claims that the U.S. judge and prosecutors acted improperly in his case. His attorneys will argue before a California appeals court in December that the charges should be dismissed.