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The main issue appeared to be how the Swiss government expanded its focus beyond the formalities of the American extradition request to pass judgment on allegations of misconduct by Los Angeles authorities.

“This was an admission that when higher interests are at stake, not everyone is equal before the law,” wrote the widely respected Neue Zuercher Zeitung newspaper. “Some are a bit more equal.”

Another Zurich paper, the Tages-Anzeiger, called the Swiss decision “shaky.”

“It breaks with the tradition of only examining the formal correctness of extradition requests,” it said. “Perhaps the new practice will in the future also benefit detainees who have less of a lobby than the world-famous director.”

Polanski’s future plans were are unclear, but people close to the filmmaker have said he was looking into directing a movie version of the Broadway show “God of Carnage.”

And he may just turn up this weekend at Switzerland’s Montreux Jazz Festival, where his wife, French singer Emmanuelle Seigner, is scheduled to perform Saturday.

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Associated Press writers Frank Jordans in Geneva, Angela Charlton in Paris, Verena Schmitt in Berlin, Veronika Oleksyn in Vienna, Jill Lawless in London and Victor L. Simpson in Rome contributed to this report.