Lawyers for Roman Polanski lodged an appeal with a Swiss court on Tuesday against his arrest on a U.S. extradition warrant to face sentence over having sex with a 13-year-old girl in 1977.
In a brief statement on its website the Swiss Federal Penal Court said that it would make a decision on the appeal within the "next few weeks" after an exchange of written motions and would not give more information on the case in the meantime.
Polanski, 76, who has dual French and Polish citizenship, was arrested on Saturday on a U.S. warrant by authorities in Switzerland, where the "Chinatown" director was set to receive a lifetime achievement award at the Zurich Film Festival.
Polanski's Swiss lawyer, Lorenz Erni, told Reuters Polanski would fight the extradition and that while the filmmaker was fine, the detention was very tough for him. Erni declined to comment on how long Polanski might remain in prison, Reuters reports.
It was also reported, the Swiss Federal Criminal Court announced the filing and said "the decision will be made within the next weeks." That statement meant Polanski was not expected to be freed anytime soon from prison, as he would stay incarcerated through the verdict and through any appeal from either side.
That criminal court will decide on the legality of the American request for Polanski's apprehension, Swiss Justice Ministry spokesman Guido Balmer told The Associated Press on Tuesday. He noted that the Justice Ministry and Polanski could later seek to overturn any decision at the Federal Tribunal, Switzerland's highest court.
"We will examine the ruling and then decide what we will do," Balmer said, declining to speculate on if or when Polanski could get out of jail, The Associated Press reports.
In the meantime, the Los Angeles District Attorney’s office has also released a timeline of its efforts to bring Polanski to justice during his 31 years as a fugitive overseas, countering his attorneys’ claim that the U.S. “had not once sought to have him extradited” in that time, Entertainment Weekly reports.
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