Page last updated at 15:21 GMT, Monday, 12 July 2010 16:21 UK

Timeline: Roman Polanski arrest

Director Roman Polanski was detained by Swiss authorities on 26 September after travelling to Zurich to attend a film festival.

The 76-year-old, who is wanted in the US over his 1977 conviction for unlawful sex with a 13-year-old girl, has now been told he will not face extradition.

Here is a chronology of events and developments following the veteran film-maker's arrest.

Saturday, 27 September

The world learns of Polanski's arrest when organisers of the Zurich Film Festival issue a press release saying he will be unable to collect his lifetime achievement award.

Their statement expresses "shock and dismay" at the director's detention, but states that a planned retrospective of the director's work will go ahead.

Monday, 28 September

Dismay is expressed over Polanski's arrest, with Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein among those speaking out.

France's foreign minister Bernard Kouchner says the detention of the film-maker - a French citizen - is a "bit sinister".

Tuesday, 29 September

US prosecutors dispute claims Polanski's arrest came out of the blue, saying he had been on a "wanted list" for years.

Meanwhile, it is confirmed that the director has been allowed to meet his wife, French actress Emmanuelle Seigner, as well as lawyers.

Wednesday, 30 September

The French government drops its public support for Polanski after a backlash against calls for his release.

Thursday, 1 October

A former prosecutor admits a story he told a film crew about original trial was untrue.

In a 2008 documentary, David Wells said the judge took his advice to give Polanski additional prison time.

The film-maker's lawyers later argued this was constituted misconduct, and used it as the basis for their bid to dismiss the entire case against him.

Friday, 2 October

California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger says Polanski should not get special treatment.

"I think that he is a very respected person and I am a big admirer of his work," said the former actor.

"But, nevertheless, I think he should be treated like everyone else."

Tuesday, 6 October

The Swiss Ministry of Justice reveals Polanski has been denied bail.

Saturday, 17 October

Polanski's lawyer reveals the director has been moved from prison for medical tests.

Tuesday, 20 October

Polanski loses an appeal to be released on bail after Switzerland's highest criminal court backs the government's earlier government ruling.

"The court considered the risk that Roman Polanski might flee if released from custody as high," the Federal Criminal Court of Switzerland says in its statement.

The director's lawyers say they intend to take the case to the Swiss Supreme Court - the country's highest tribunal.

Wednesday, 21 October

Swiss authorities admit they tipped off their US counterparts about Polanski's movements, after the Associated Press news agency uncovers email communications between the two countries.

Thursday, 22 October

The Swiss say they acted correctly in informing the US that Polanski was travelling to Zurich.

Swiss Justice Ministry spokesman Folco Galli said Switzerland was obliged to act after getting confirmation that his US arrest warrant was still valid.

Friday, 23 October

The US formally asks Switzerland to extradite Polanski on sex charges.

Monday, 26 October

Polanski's victim calls for charges against the film director to be dismissed.

Lawyers for Samantha Geimer, who was 13 when Polanski had unlawful sex with her in 1977, urged a dismissal in a motion filed at a California appeals court.

Wednesday, 25 November

A Swiss court accepts Polanski's plea to be freed on bail.

It is thought Polanski will remain in jail until the Swiss Justice Ministry decides whether to appeal against the ruling.

Wednesday, 2 December

The Swiss justice ministry announce Polanski will be moved from prison and placed under house arrest at his chalet in the resort of Gstaad.

They add he will be fitted with an electronic bracelet which will activate if he tries to abscond.

Friday, 4 December

Polanski is transferred to his Swiss home and begins his house arrest. His wife and two children are waiting for him when he arrives.

Thursday, 7 December

Polanski asks a judge in Los Angeles to sentence him in absentia for the 1977 case.

Judge Peter Espinoza says he will consider the request at a hearing scheduled for 22 January, after he has seen legal briefs to explain why sentencing in absentia would be appropriate.

But Judge Espinoza later refuses the request, saying he is acting to protect "the dignity of the court".

Saturday, 20 February

Polanski wins the Silver Bear for best director at the Berlin Film Festival for his new political thriller, The Ghost.

The film, about a writer hired to complete the memoirs of a former British prime minister, had its premiere at the festival.

Producer Alain Sarde accepts the best director prize on Polanski's behalf, saying: "I am sure Roman will be very happy."

Sunday, 2 May

Polanski breaks his silence in an online magazine article to decry the US for seeking his extradition.

He says prosecutors want him to return so they can serve him "on a platter to the media".

Tuesday, 11 May

A judge rules that a secret testimony given by the original prosecutor in Polanski's original case will remain sealed.

Polanski's lawyer Chad Hummel had argued Roger Gunson's testimony could help Swiss authorities decide whether or not to extradite Polanski.

But Superior Court judge Peter Espinoza notes that Swiss officials had ruled the transcripts "irrelevant".

Thursday, 13 May

Lawyers for Polanski call the request for his extradition from Switzerland "misleading and incomplete".

The three lawyers - Douglas Dalton, Brad Dalton and Chad Hummel - say they want the Swiss to have the complete facts in order to decide if the request is justified.

Only then will the director return to the US to litigate his case, they add.

Monday, 12 July

Authorities in Switzerland decide not to extradite Polanski to the US.

Swiss Justice Minister Eveline Widmer-Schlumpf says the "restrictions on his liberty have been lifted" and he is free to leave house arrest.

Print Sponsor

Has China's housing bubble burst?
How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific