Director Roman Polanski Begins (Luxury) House Arrest
By PopEater / Wire Services Posted Dec 4th 2009 09:30AM
Roman Polanski began his house arrest on $4.5 million bail Friday, rolling into the luxury resort of Gstaad in a police convoy to a warm welcome from his wife and children at his Alpine chalet. Polanski persuaded Swiss authorities to end his two months of incarceration in a Swiss jail pending their decision on whether to extradite him to the U.S. in a 32-year-old sex case.
Polanski's family had been waiting eagerly at the chalet, peeking out the windows to look for him as Swiss authorities worked out the last-minute details of his transfer. He has two children - Elvis, 9, and Morgane, 16 - with his wife, French actress Emmanuelle Seigner.
Just before 1 p.m., two police cars went straight into the garage, which has direct access to the house, then left twenty minutes later. Polanski was unseen behind the vehicles' tinted windows, but police told The Associated Press that he was inside.
"Roman Polanski was today released from custody pending extradition and transferred to Gstaad, where he is under house arrest at his chalet," the Swiss Justice Ministry said. "Polanski has undertaken not to leave his house and property at any time."
The 76-year-old director won't be allowed to leave the property while Switzerland decides whether to extradite him to the U.S. for having sex in 1977 with a 13-year-old girl.
Swiss officials say Polanski transferred the bail and deposited all identification and travel documents with the Zurich cantonal police. His house in Gstaad was fitted with an electronic monitoring system that will trigger an alarm if Polanski leaves the house or removes the tagging bracelet.
Polanski was wearing the monitor around his ankle Friday, said Folco Galli, spokesman for the Justice Ministry.
"As soon as he arrived, the electronic device was activated," he told The Associated Press, adding that Polanski was free to speak to the press if he wished. "But this is for him alone to decide."
An hour later, the Polanskis sent word to reporters that they had no intention of making a statement.
"Mr. Polanski and his wife just asked us to say they are not coming out," said a security guard, who declined to give his name. "There is no point in waiting, so you can all leave."
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