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French govt drops public support for Polanski

Published: Thursday, October 1, 2009, 13:34 [IST]

[an error occurred while processing this directive]London (ANI): The French government has withdrawn its support to film director Roman Polanski, who is currently held in Switzerland, after a campaign for his release was shunned by many leading European political and cultural figures. The foreign minister of France had asked the Swiss government to free the 76-year-old director, who was arrested in Zurich last Saturday, on a US arrest warrant for having unlawful sex with a teenaged girl in the late 1970s.

France had made the appeal because Polanski holds a hold a duel citizenship of France and Poland. However, the French government has changed its stance now. "We have a judicial procedure under way, for a serious affair, the rape of a minor, on which the American and Swiss legal systems are doing their job," government spokesman Luc Chatel was quoted by the BBC, as saying.

The Polish Government has also asked its ministers to be cautious and exercise “greater restraint" in dealing with the Polanski issue, following the request of the Polish foreign minister to Hilary Clinton for Polanski"s release. A director of international repute, Polanski had fled to France from the US, to avoid imprisonment after pleading guilty to the charge of having unlawful sex with 13-year-old Samantha Gailey.

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