The Oscar-winning director of "Rosemary's Baby," "Chinatown" and "The Pianist" was accused of plying his victim with champagne and part of a Quaalude during a 1977 modeling shoot and raping
her. He was initially indicted on six felony counts, including rape by use of drugs, child molesting and sodomy
, but pleaded guilty to one count of unlawful sexual intercourse.
The Swiss government said its decision to reject extradition for Polanski was based in part on U.S. authorities failing to turn over transcripts of secret testimony given by the attorney who originally handled the director's case. The testimony remains sealed, and can only be used if the former prosecutor was unavailable for an evidentiary hearing
, a Los Angeles court spokesman said.
The testimony "should
prove" that Polanski actually served his sentence while undergoing a court-ordered diagnostic study after charges were filed, the Swiss Justice Ministry said.
"If this were the case, Roman Polanski would actually have already served his sentence and therefore both the proceedings on which the U.S. extradition request is founded and the request itself would have no foundation," the ministry said. They also noted that Polanski's victim, Samantha Geimer, has repeatedly asked that the case be dropped.
Cooley, who is the fifth district attorney to handle Polanski's case, accused the Swiss of exploiting a quirk of California law to set the director free and the decision was a "rejection of the competency of the California courts.
"The Swiss could not have found a smaller hook on which to hang their hat," Cooley said in a statement.