7 Oct 2009

Bail for Polanski refused

5:47 am on 7 October 2009

Switzerland has denied a request to release film director Roman Polanski on bail.

The Ministry of Justice says there is still a very high risk that he will flee.

Polanski, 76, is being held in Switzerland over his conviction in 1977 for unlawful sex with a girl, aged 13.

He fled the United States in 1978 before he could be sentenced and has never returned.

Polanski was detained in Switzerland on 26 September as he travelled from France to collect a lifetime achievement award at the Zurich Film Festival.

His victim, Samantha Geimer, sued Polanski in December 1988, accusing him of sexual assault, infliction of emotional distress and seduction.

The BBC reports he agreed to pay her $US500,000 five years later.

But in January this year Ms Geimer asked a US court to drop charges against Polanski, saying the continued publication of details "causes harm to me, my husband and children".