Roman Polanski lost his first bid to win his freedom Tuesday as the Swiss Justice Ministry rejected an appeal by the 76-year-old to be immediately released from prison, an official said. "We continue to be of the opinion that there is a high risk of flight," said ministry spokesman Folco Galli, explaining the decision.

Galli told The Associated Press that the risk was too great for the government to accept bail or other security measures in exchange for the release of the filmmaker who is wanted by U.S. authorities for having sex in 1977 with a 13-year-old girl.