Roman Polanski was denied bail for the second time by a Swiss court today after pledging his holiday home in Switzerland as collateral and proposing electronic monitoring as a way to ensure he wouldn’t flee.
The court said Polanski was still too much a flight risk. Something Polanski’s French lawyer Herve Temime fervently denies.
“What everyone forgets is that if Roman Polanski fled 32 years ago, it was because he felt betrayed by the American justice system,” Temime told Swiss television. “What one forgets is that 32 years ago, no one in the world wanted him to go to jail, not even for one day. For the past 32 years he has demonstrated to what extent he is not a danger to anyone, to what extent he is not a ‘sex criminal’ as one often hears.”
“So let me get this straight: your argument is that your client spent the last 32 years on the run simply because he had his feelings hurt, and now because of that, you say we should let him out again? We do not know how it works in France, Mr. Temime, but this court does not award ‘points for sheer balls.'”
In arguing for his release on bail, Temime told the court that a prolonged detention could lead to a loss of some $40 million for investors in Polanski’s upcoming film “The Ghost” if the director can’t finish it in time for its planned February premiere.
The film’s producers say post-production for “The Ghost” — a political thriller based on the best-seller by Robert Harris and starring Pierce Brosnan and Ewan McGregor — is on schedule. The team is thought to be coordinating the work with Polanski via telephone from his cell.
Temime said he will appeal the decision. Polanski’s lawyers can also submit a new bail proposal, possibly combining bail with some form of house arrest and electronic monitoring to prevent him from fleeing.
U.S. authorities have until the end of November to make a firm extradition request. If Polanski challenges the extradition, the process could be tied up in the Swiss courts for years. [THR]
Wait, you mean they haven’t requested extradition already? And they have another month to do it? Wasn’t that the whole point of arresting him in the first place? See, this is why people hate lawyers. Ten bucks says they just show up to the office in suits and briefcases and then spend the rest of the day drinking beers and playing XBox.