French and Polish governments drop support for Mr Polanski

Thursday October 1, 2009

The French government has withdrawn its public support for Oscar-winning film director Roman Polanski, saying the 76-year-old "is neither above nor beneath the law".

The move follows a campaign set up by his wife Emmanuelle for his release.

The Piano filmmaker is being held in Switzerland on a US arrest warrant over charges of unlawful sex with a 13-year-old girl in 1977.

This week the Polish foreign minister and his French counterpart wrote to US Secretary of State Hilary Clinton calling for Roman to be freed.

But Polish Prime Minister Donald Tusk has since asked his ministers to show "greater restraint" in defending the Hollywood star.

Elsewhere Roman has no shortage of supporters. Over 110 film industry figures have signed the petition calling for his release.

Among them are Martin Scorsese, Woody Allen, David Lynch, Pedro Almodovar, Tilda Swinton and Monica Bellucci.

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