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Le Pen: Polanski not above the law

Right-wing Front National says government’s call for jailed film director to be freed 'makes a mockery of basic justice'

THE FRONT National has attacked its political rivals for coming out in support of the arrested film director Roman Polanski.

The 76-year-old Polish-born Polanski, who has French citizenship, was arrested in Switzerland on Saturday night, 30 years after fleeing the US for France after pleading guilty to unlawful sexual intercourse with a 13-year-old girl.

An international row has erupted over his arrest, as artists and politicians leapt to his defence.

However Front National vice-president Marine Le Pen said she was shocked by how much support Polanski was getting.

She said the campaign by politicians from all sides of the spectrum to get him freed “makes a mockery of the most basic elements of justice”.

"Does belonging to the super-protected showbiz class exonerate you from respecting the law and allow you to avoid judicial pursuit for 30 years?” she asked.

“Is it acceptable to see political figures supporting such behaviour when, at the same time, the authorities are trying to raise awareness of sexual violence against women and children?”

Culture minister Frédéric Mitterrand said he was “dumbfounded” by the arrest and said Nicolas Sarkozy was following the case “with great attention”.

France’s governing party, the UMP, described the arrest as “very regrettable” and Socialist MP Jack Lang said it was “disproportionate”.

Poland and France are reported to be considering a joint appeal to Switzerland and the US for Polanski’s release.

The director was flying into the country to receive an honorary award at the Zurich Film Festival when he was detained late on Saturday night.

Polanski's agent, Jeff Berg, told BBC Radio 4: "He is in good spirits, his voice is strong, he's very anxious to get this resolved and go home.”

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