Polanski starts his Gstaad ski vacation

Last we heard, the Swiss government was going to appeal the decision to grant Roman Polanski bail and house arrest as an alternative to detention while the Swiss decide whether to grant the US request for extradition.  Looks like they lost.  The most famous man to skip bail posted $4.5 million and agreed to wear an electronic monitoring device that won’t stop him from pulling a Sound of Music over the Alps:

The director Roman Polanski was released from custody on $4.5 million bail and transferred to house arrest in the upscale ski resort of Gstaad Friday pending a judicial ruling on an American request for his extradition.

Mr. Polanski is wanted in the United States on charges dating to 1978 that he fled the country to avoid sentencing for unlawful sex with a 13-year-old girl in 1977.

A crowd of some 200 journalists had gathered behind a police cordon in the resort to await Mr. Polanski’s arrival at his luxury chalet there. Reporters said he arrived and drove into an underground garage without commenting.

In a statement, the Swiss government said: “Roman Polanski was today released from custody pending extradition and transferred to Gstaad, where he is under house arrest at his chalet. Polanski has undertaken not to leave his house and property at any time.” Swiss authorities initially took Mr. Polanski, 76, from a jail in Winterthur in northeastern Switzerland to an undisclosed location on Thursday to avoid media representatives who staked out the jail as well as the chalet in Gsaad.

Polanski also “undertook” not to skip out on his bail in 1977.  How well did that work out?  Polanski has carefully traveled ever since to avoid capture, using his money and his connections to keep from having to answer for his actions with a 13-year-old girl as well as running out on his bail agreement.  This will not be any different.

If the Swiss approve his extradition, don’t expect to find Polanski at the chalet.  He’ll be back in Paris, and this time he’ll stay put.