US disappointed by Swiss freeing of Polanksi

Updated: Jul 13, 2010, 09:54 AM IST

Washington: The US government expressed disappointment over Switzerland`s decision Monday to free film director Roman Polanksi and refusal to extradite him to the United States for his 1977 rape conviction.

US State Department spokesman PJ Crowley said the government will review its options in light of the decision and remained committed to pursuing justice against Polanski, who fled to Europe in 1978 following his conviction of having unlawful sex with a 13-year-old girl.

Crowley rejected Swiss claims that the extradition request was faulty, and that Polanski`s frequent visits to Switzerland in the past led him to reasonably conclude he was subject to arrest.

Swiss authorities said the United States also did not act quickly enough to file the extradition request.

"A 13-year-girl was drugged and raped by an adult. This is not a matter of technicality," Crowley said.

Polanski, 76, was arrested in Zurich in September and held under house arrest outside Bern pending a review of the case.

Polanski was convicted by California state prosecutors in Los Angeles after he pleaded guilty to having unlawful sex with a child. In return, the state dropped other charges, including sodomy and providing the girl with drugs and alcohol.

The judge ordered him to spend 90 days in a psychiatric ward. After an evaluator released him after 42 days, the judge planned to order Polanski to serve the remainder of the time in jail. The director then fled.

Polanksi, who holds French and Polish citizenship, is the director of the "Pianist", "Chinatown" and "The Ghost". The Swiss decision was welcomed by officials in France and Poland.