Polanski Waiting for Swiss Justice Ministry's Decision

The incident which sparked the long battle took place in 1977. Then Roman Polanski had unlawful sex with 13-year-old Samantha Gailey at actor Jack Nicholson's Hollywood home.

The film-maker was arrested and charged with a string of offences, eventually admitting to having sex with a minor. The other charges were dropped as part of a plea bargain.

He spent 42 days undergoing psychiatric evaluation in prison, but was permitted to travel overseas when this was completed, BBC News reports.

It was also reported, the international tug-of-war over Roman Polanski escalated Monday as France and Poland urged Switzerland to free the 76-year-old director on bail and pressed U.S. officials all the way up to Secretary of State Hillary Clinton on the case.

Polanski was in his third day of detention after Swiss police arrested him Saturday on an international warrant as he arrived in Zurich to receive a lifetime achievement award from a film festival.

The Swiss Justice Ministry on Monday did not rule out the possibility that Polanski, director of such classic films as "Chinatown" and "Rosemary's Baby," could be released on bail under very strict conditions that he doesn't flee Switzerland.

Justice spokesman Guido Balmer said such an arrangement is "not entirely excluded" under Swiss law and that Polanski could file a motion on bail.

In Paris, French Foreign Minister Bernard Kouchner said he hoped Polanski could be quickly freed by the Swiss, calling the apprehension a "bit sinister." He also told France-Inter radio that he and his Polish counterpart Radek Sikorski wrote to Clinton, and said there could be a decision as early as Monday if a Swiss court accepts bail, The Associated Press reports.

ABC News qouted lawyer Herve Temime as saying, "He wants to struggle, and I think it will be possible for us to maintain his freedom," Temime addad that Polanski and his lawyers were shocked that the Oscar winner was arrested after walking into a trap at the Zurich, Switzerland, airport.

"I'm very shocked by the demand of extradition because, you know, this case has been a very long time -- 32 years -- and during this time, Mr. Polanski traveled a lot," Temime said. "He couldn't imagine that he would be arrested in Switzerland."

Swiss officials are waiting on an official extradition request from the United States, but may set bail for Polanski.

Temime said he is unsure why U.S. officials would act now, nabbing his client as he arrived to accept an award at the Zurich Film Festival. He's hopeful the judge will be sympathetic to Polanski's situation.

"I think it will be possible for the Swiss judge ... to make Mr. Polanski free as soon as possible," he said. "If he was released he could have some conditions, but first we have to make the request," ABC News reports.

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