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Polanski appeal rejected

October 21, 2009|Associated Press

Roman Polanski's three decades as a fugitive are coming back to haunt him.

Noting his previous escape from U.S. authorities, Switzerland's top criminal court on Tuesday rejected Polanski's appeal to be released from prison because of the "high" risk that the 76-year-old director would try to flee again.

Polanski's offers of bail, house arrest and electronic monitoring failed to sway the tribunal. Even a Swiss chalet in the luxury resort of Gstaad was brushed aside as insufficient collateral to guard against Polanski fleeing the country, as the United States seeks to have him extradited for having sex with a 13-year-old girl in 1977.

Beyond Polanski's legal troubles, the decision could have damaging consequences for his latest film, "The Ghost," a political thriller that has several months of work left before it is ready for theaters.

Polanski and his family will go bankrupt if he has to remain in prison, his lawyers told the court. They said continued incarceration would prevent him from finishing the film, starring Pierce Brosnan as a fictional British leader and Ewan McGregor as the politician's ghostwriter.

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