Filmmaker Roman Polanski has refused to get extradited from Switzerland to the United States where he is wanted on charges of unlawful sex with a minor, even as the issue snowballed into an international row, with France and Poland backing his plea for a bail.
"He has refused the request from the United States for his extradition...Given the extravagant circumstances of his arrest we will ask without delay for him to be released. After that his defence team will demonstrate the illegal nature of the extradition request," said a statement issued by the Academy winning director's lawyer Herve Temime, reported BBC online.
He was arrested two days ago in Switzerland on a three-decade-old US warrant, while he was in the country to collect a 'Lifetime Achievement Award' at the Zurich Film Festival.
Meanwhile the 'Free Polanski' movement is gaining strength in Europe with French Culture Minister Frederic Mitterrand expressing sympathy with the 76-year-old director.
"I strongly regret that a new ordeal is being inflicted on someone who has already experienced so many of them," Mitterrand said during a radio interview.
Adding that President Sarkozy was following the case "with great attention", Mitterrand revealed that he and the Polish Foreign Minister Radek Sikorski have written to US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton expressing their opinion on the issue.