76 year old cinematic auteur Roman Polanski (The Pianist, Rosemary's Baby) was invited to receive a life time acheivement award at the Zurich film festival this week. Polanski who holds a french passport crossed over into Switzerland and was detained on a outstanding 1978 AMERICAN arrest warrant. This stems from charges that he had sex in 1977 with a then 13 year old girl , who herself as an adult has petitioned for decades for the charges to be dropped against Polanski. Polanski at the time of the incident was a grieving widower suffering from traumatic depression following the brutal murder of his pregnant wife, actress Sharon Tate by members of The Manson Family.
Today's arrest has brought a flurry of international outrage in Polanski's defense. French president Nicholas Sarkozy and his cultural minister Frederic Mitterrand were stunned by the news and have called for his swift release. Roman Polanski makes frequent trips to the (supposedly neutral) country of Switzerland and owns a home in the swiss city of Gstaad.