The decision came after the Swiss Federal Department of Justice and Police ruled that U.S. officials had not provided adequate testimony regarding Polanski’s sentencing in 1978. Polanski had been ordered to a 90-day mental evaluation as part of his plea bargain, after which he could opt for “voluntary deportation.” When it looked as if the original judge who'd presided over the case, Laurence J. Rittenband (who died in 1993) had decided to send the director to jail for the remainder of his sentence, Polanski deported himself a little early—after serving just 42 days of his evaluation.
The Swiss Justice Ministry said there was insufficient proof that Polanski served his sentence after the mental evaluation. “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.”
Polanski, who directed the Oscar-winning films Rosemary’s Baby, Chinatown and The Pianist is hailed as a cultural icon in France and Poland, countries where he holds dual citizenship. He could face another extradition request should he be arrested outside of Switzerland, but that’s a prospect that looks unlikely.