Would Polanski Really Flee Glam Swiss House Arrest?

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Nov. 30 2009 5:15 PM

Would Polanski Really Flee Glam Swiss House Arrest?

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Roman Polanski is currently trying to make $4.5 million in bail to get out of Swiss jail . If he can rustle up that sum (and can he? How much coin does Roman really have?), he would be put under house arrest at his posh chalet in Gstaad with full access to phone, Internet, television and anyone who wants to visit him. A Swiss Justice Department spokesperson told the AFP , "He will have no prison regime ... He is completely free to determine his daily schedule. It's also up to him to get in food and other supplies." All things considered, that sounds like a pretty sweet deal for someone who has been a fugitive for the past 30 years.

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But even so, 92 percent of those polled by the Los Angeles Times ' Web site think Polanski would try to flee to France to avoid extradition to the United States. Why would he want to do that, considering how good he currently has it? He's already the object of renewed international scorn-even if he did flee to France, he would not be able to resume the quiet old life he had before his most recent arrest. And also, how would it even be possible to flee? He's going to be electronically monitored. Do people think he's going to tear off his lowjack and cross-country ski across the Alps? Doesn't seem especially likely. Finally, I don't believe that Polanski is so wealthy that he can afford to abandon $4.5 million. Full bail payment, without the help of bail bondsman, is customary in Switzerland. Unless his rich friends are willing to put together a Free Roman fund ...

Of course, many who are calling for Polanski's head probably think that even $4.5 million in bail is too little and that he deserves to rot in foreign jail until he can be brought to justice in Los Angeles. It looks like those haters will have to sit tight, since it doesn't lseem like he'll be forced to face an American court any time soon.

Photograph of Roman Polanski by Abdelhak Senna/AFP/Getty Images.

Jessica Grose is a frequent Slate contributor and the author of the novel Sad Desk Salad. Follow her on Twitter.

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