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Free Roman Polanski

Mark Sandell Mark Sandell | 13:33 UK time, Monday, 12 July 2010

polanski.jpgThe film director will not be extradited from his Swiss chalet to face charges in the U.S for having sex with a 13 year old girl in 1977.

The Swiss Justice Ministry is quoted as saying the "measures of restriction on his liberty have been lifted."

The Swiss mostly blamed U.S. authorities for failing to provide confidential testimony about Polanski's sentencing procedure in 1977-1978.

Here's what Polanski said in May when the U.S sought his extradition :

"I can no longer remain silent because the United States continues to demand my extradition, more to serve me on a platter to the media of the world than to pronounce a judgment concerning which an agreement was reached 33 years ago,"

woody.jpgHis case divides opinion ; other film directors like Jonathan Demme, Terry Gilliam, Pedro Almodovar and Woody Allen all came out in support of the 76 year old Polanski..

Allen said Polanski "was embarrassed by the whole thing," "has suffered" and "has paid his dues." He said Polanski is "an artist and is a nice person" who "did something wrong and he paid for it."

Actress Debra Winger said the Swiss had been involved in "Philistine collusion" in allowing the arrest.

There was the famous remark too, made by Whoopi Goldberg , that Polanski was not guilty of "rape-rape", which provoked an outcry, and a backlash in Hollywood and elsewhere..

"Roman Polanski raped a child. Let's just start right there, because that's the detail that tends to get neglected," wrote Kate Harding , a feminist writer and author in Salon., highlighting the disconnect between Hollywood, and the arts "community" and the outside world.

Have the Swiss authorities made the right decision ?

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