Swiss Tipped US to Polanski Trip

Move gave LA prosecutors time to whip up arrest warrant
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Oct 20, 2009 8:53 PM CDT
Roman Polanski.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Swiss authorities set in motion the arrest of fugitive director Roman Polanski in his decades-old child sex case as he traveled to the country last month, emails obtained by the AP show. The Swiss Federal Office of Justice alerted US law enforcement Sept. 22 that Polanski, 76, was due in Zurich, and wanted to know if the US would submit a request for his arrest.

After receiving the tip, federal officials alerted the Los Angeles district attorney's office, which immediately began drafting an arrest warrant. Emails show US authorities learned on Sept. 23 that Polanski was in Austria but officials doubted they could assemble an arrest warrant before Polanski had moved on to Switzerland. Polanski was arrested Sept. 26 as he arrived in Zurich to receive a lifetime achievement award