Roman Polanski to collect festival honour in Zurich

Roman Polanski Polanski was honoured at France's Cesar Awards earlier this year

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Director Roman Polanski is to collect a career honour at the Zurich Film Festival, two years after his arrest in the city on child sex charges.

Organisers say the 78-year-old will attend the gala to receive his award which he was set to pick up in 2009.

Swiss police arrested Polanski on his arrival in the country over his 1977 US conviction for having sex with a 13-year-old girl.

He was held for 10 months before Swiss courts decided not to extradite him.

The tribute ceremony to present Polanski with his lifetime achievement award is due to be held on 27 September.

Directors of the Zurich Film Festival, Karl Spoerri and Nadja Schildknecht, said: "We are especially proud to welcome Roman Polanski this year to receive his award.

"We have always been tremendous admirers of his work and we are delighted that we will soon be able to express this to him in person," they added.

The Zurich Film Festival is taking place from 22 September to 2 October.

Unlawful sex

Polanski was held under house arrest at his Swiss home while the courts deliberated whether to extradite him to the US to face charges.

The ruling against extradition came on 12 July and with it an end to restrictions on Polanski's movements.

Polanski was originally charged with six offences including rape and sodomy over the 1977 case.

In 1978, he pleaded guilty to unlawful sex following a plea bargain and served 42 days in a US prison.

The film-maker, whose work includes Rosemary's Baby and Tess, fled the US after hearing rumours that the judge was about to re-sentence him for a much longer term.

He has never returned to the US and did not collect his best director Oscar for The Pianist at the 2003 Academy Awards.

Earlier this year, Polanski was at the Cesar Awards in France to receive the best director prize for his political thriller The Ghost Writer.

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