Page last updated at 19:21 GMT, Monday, 21 December 2009

US court rejects Polanski appeal over sex case

Director Roman Polanski (file pic)
Lawyers argued alleged misconduct in the case meant it should be dismissed

Film director Roman Polanski's attempt to have his sex case dismissed has been rejected by a California appeals court.

Polanski, currently under house arrest at his Swiss chalet, is fighting extradition to the US over a 1977 case of unlawful sex with a minor.

The California 2nd District Court of Appeal announced the decision on its website, saying three justices had agreed to reject the petition.

Lawyers had argued alleged misconduct of the case meant it must be dismissed.

They allege a Los Angeles judge, now deceased, engaged in "backroom manipulations" while handling the case in 1977.

Judges' concern

Despite rejecting the appeal, the justices did state that they remained "deeply concerned that these allegations of misconduct have not been addressed by a court".

Polanski's chalet
The director has been fitted with an electronic tag at his Gstaad chalet

And they continued: "Polanski's allegations urgently require full exploration and then, if indicated, curative action for the abuses alleged here."

Switzerland is expected to decide whether or not to extradite Polanksi within weeks, but he could appeal.

The film director, who holds both French and Polish citizenship, fled the US in 1978 after pleading guilty to having unlawful sex with an underage girl.

He has been fitted with an electronic bracelet by the Swiss authorities to prevent him absconding.

The Swiss Federal Criminal Court granted the Oscar-winning director $4.5m (£2.7m) bail, pending proceedings for his possible extradition to the US.

The director of films such as Rosemary's Baby, Chinatown and The Pianist was arrested after travelling to Zurich on 26 September to pick up a lifetime achievement award.

Polanski was accused of raping a 13-year-old girl after plying her with champagne and a sedative during a modelling shoot in 1977.

He was initially indicted on six counts - including rape by use of drugs, child molesting and sodomy - but pleaded guilty to the lesser charge of unlawful sexual intercourse.

Polanski fled the US on the day he was to be sentenced, and has lived in France since then.

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