ZURICH –was arrested by Swiss police as he flew in for the Zurich Film Festival and faces possible extradition to the United States for having sex with a 13-year-old girl in 1977, authorities said Sunday.
Polanski was scheduled to receive an honorary award at the festival when he was apprehended Saturday at the airport, the Swiss Justice Ministry said in a statement. It said U.S. authorities have sought the arrest of the 76-year-old director around the world since 2005.
"There was a valid arrest request and we knew when he was coming," ministry spokesman Guido Balmer told The Associated Press. "That's why he was taken into custody."
Polanski, the director of such classic films as "Chinatown" and "France in 1978, a year after pleading guilty to unlawful sexual intercourse with the underage girl.," fled the U.S. for
Polanski has asked a U.S. appeals court in California to overturn a judges' refusal to throw out his case. He claims misconduct by the now-deceased judge who had arranged a and then reneged on it.