Roman Polanski released

12 July 2010

After nine months living under house arrest in Switzerland, Roman Polanski has been declared "a free man" after officials denied a request from the United States to extradite him. The news comes little over two months after Polanski himself spoke out against the extradition request.

Polanski, director of this year's taut political thriller
The Ghost, was arrested in Zurich last September, with extradition to the States then looking likely. He has been wanted in the USA for over 30 years after fleeing sentencing for unlawful sexual intercourse with a 13-year-old girl.

Swiss justice minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf said, "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."

Widmer-Schlumpf also added that the decision was not meant to excuse Polanski's crime, that "both the proceedings on which the US extradition request is founded and the request itself " had no foundation and that it was "not about deciding whether he is guilty or not guilty."