"The fate of the Franco-Polish film director Roman Polanski became an international cause célèbre yesterday as Paris, Warsaw and an extensive cast of figures from world cinema demanded his immediate release from a Swiss jail.
"The French Foreign Minister, Bernard Kouchner, protested formally to both the US and Swiss authorities against Mr Polanski's arrest in Zurich on Saturday for having sex with a 13-year-old girl in California in 1977. Mr Kouchner described the circumstances of the arrest, on an American warrant, as "a little sinister".
"The French and Polish foreign ministers later appealed in writing to the US Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, to intervene and called for Mr Polanski's release on bail. The 76-year-old film director's lawyer, Herve Temime, said that he would fight extradition in the Swiss courts - something that might take up to six months. He added that his client, despite being "stunned" by the arrest, was "in fighting mood and determined to defend himself"."