Polanski Files Motion for Freedom

Director remains jailed in Switzerlandon 31-year-old child rape charge

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    Roman Polanski's lawyers filed a motion to free him as he battles possible extradition to the U.S. to face sentencing for child rape.

    Roman Polanski, imprisoned in Switzerland on a 31-year-old U.S. charge of child rape, filed a motion requesting to be released, Swiss authorities said Tuesday.

    The Swiss Criminal Court said in a statement Tuesday that it will make a decision "in the next weeks."  Polanski, 76, was detained Saturday as he arrived in Zurich to receive an award from a film festival. He has been living as a fugitive in France since bolting the U.S. while awaiting sentencing for raping a 13-year-old girl after giving her drugs and alcohol. Polanski pleaded guilty to the attack.

    "He is in fighting mood and determined to defend himself," Herve Temime, Polanski's lawyer, told France Info radio, adding that the movie director, who has French and Polish citizenship, was stunned by the arrest because he was a regular visitor to Switzerland.
       
    Polanski's victim, now 43, has settled with Polanski for an undisclosed amount and says she does not want to see him jailed. International film stars have denounced the arrest, which came when Polanski went to Switzerland to receive a lifetime achievement award at the Zurich Film Festival.

    "It is based on a three-decade-old case that is all but dead but for minor technicalities," said jury president Debra Winger. Italian actress Monica Bellucci, France's Fanny Ardant, president of the Cannes film festival Gilles Jacob and Hong Kong director Wong Kar Wai issued a petition demanding Polanski's immediate release.

    California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger has authority to grant clemency in some cases but has not been approached over the Polanski matter, according to his office.

    Get more: MSNBC