Polanski only safe in France, Poland, Switzerland

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GENEVA (AP) - Roman Polanski may once again be seen on the red carpet at Cannes _ but he won’t be attending the Venice Film Festival or the Oscars anytime soon.

Freed from Swiss house arrest after the government refused to deport him to the United States, the 76-year-old movie director still faces an Interpol warrant in effect for 188 countries for a 1977 child sex case.

That means now, more than ever, Polanski is truly safe from arrest only in his home nations of France and Poland, and _ due to this week’s stunning decision _ Switzerland.

“He is in the situation he was in a year ago,” said Georges Kiejman, a France-based lawyer for Polanski. “He is free to travel in Switzerland, in France, in Poland, and in all the countries that don’t have extradition agreements with the United States.”

Still, publicity about his case and the looming warrant is certain to curtail the director’s future travels.

Most of Europe has arrangements with Washington on sending wanted individuals back and forth, but Polanski has traveled freely in numerous European countries since fleeing U.S. justice in 1978. He made his latest film “The Ghost Writer” in Germany last year and visited Austria just before the Swiss arrested him in September.

Polanski’s whereabouts were still unclear Tuesday, a day after the Swiss government surprisingly decided to refuse a U.S. extradition request for the filmmaker to be sentenced for having sex with a 13-year-old girl, Samantha Geimer. Prosecutors in Los Angeles and justice officials in Washington have said they will continue to pursue Polanski.

Kiejman told The Associated Press that his client was “happy with his freedom.”

“Give him a few days to breathe,” Kiejman added, calling on the U.S. to scrap its international arrest warrant.

Polanski’s lawyers issued a statement Tuesday calling for an investigation into the U.S. refusal to provide requested evidence to Swiss authorities in his 33-year-old sex case.

The one-page statement released in Los Angeles made no personal reference to Polanski or his reaction to Monday’s ruling freeing him from Swiss custody.

The attorneys asked for the appointment of a commission by the California governor or attorney general to look into possible official misconduct in the 1977 case.

Geimer, who long ago identified herself as Polanski’s victim, told the Los Angeles Times in a story posted Tuesday that the case should have been resolved 33 years ago when it happened.

“Enough is enough,” she said of the continuing efforts to prosecute Polanski. She was barred from talking about her civil suit settlement with the director but said it didn’t influence her views. “I’ve felt this way from the beginning,” she said.

Since fleeing Los Angeles on the eve of on the eve of his Feb. 1, 1978, sentencing, the Oscar-winning director of “Rosemary’s Baby,” “Chinatown” and “The Pianist” has mainly lived in France, which does not extradite its own citizens. And he’s spent long periods of time in Switzerland, which allowed him to buy a home in 2006.

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