Polanski film premieres in Berlin
Published 15/02/2010 | 15:40
Roman Polanski's new film premiered in Berlin as Swiss authorities pledged not to extradite him to the US as long as his appeal on a sex case was still being considered in Los Angeles.
The director could not walk the red carpet at the Berlin Film Festival for the debut of his movie The Ghost, starring Ewan McGregor and Pierce Brosnan, because he is under house arrest.
And in a new twist to his long legal saga, the Swiss Justice Ministry declared it would make "no sense" to shift Polanski from house arrest at his Alpine chalet until US courts ruled definitively that he must be sentenced in person to further jail time for having sex with a 13-year-old girl in 1977.
"When the question is still open, why should he be extradited?" Rudolf Wyss, the ministry's deputy director, said. "As long as the question is still open, our decision depends on that."
"Even if we decide on extradition, he can still appeal. This would take many months," Wyss added.
The movie, Polanski's first since Oliver Twist in 2005, was nearly finished when he was arrested on September 26 as he arrived in Zurich to receive a lifetime achievement award from a film festival.
"It's a great pity he's not here to launch the film with us, because I feel like he's as responsible for my performance in this film as I am," McGregor said at the press conference in Berlin.
"Roman continued to work on the film through courier packages that we sent to him in prison," producer Robert Benmussa went on. "Then, when he was in his chalet, he continued to work on the movie, putting the last touches."