Worldwide support for Polanski arrest

PARIS - As European politicians and artists rallied behind film director Roman Polanski, a growing number of voices were raised around the world welcoming his arrest.

PARIS - As European politicians and artists rallied behind film director Roman Polanski, a growing number of voices were raised around the world welcoming his arrest.

His arrest comes after evading a 31-year-old sexual abuse conviction.

The online edition of the French weekly Le Point reported yesterday that 97percent of the nearly 500 bloggers, who commented on the affair applauded the 76-year-old director's jailing by Swiss police late on Saturday.

One blogger said Polanski's seduction of a 13-year-old girl in 1977, after plying her with champagne and sedatives, was "a horrible, despicable crime".

Polanski pleaded guilty to engaging in unlawful sexual intercourse with a minor but fled the U S before being sentenced.

French bloggers also condemned the support Polanski received from French artists, whom one described as "the crypto-intelligentsia of our country" and another called "the politico-bobo-cultural elite". "Have they lost all sense of values?" a blogger calling himself Jean Phi asked rhetorically.

Many writers underlined the privileged treatment from which Polanski appeared to benefit because of his position and wealth.

"You're rich, you're famous, therefore the law gives you a pass that disgusts me," coco2570 wrote.

Reactions were similar around the world, with one letter-writer to The Australia newspaper saying: "If (Polanski) were not famous, would anyone consider his arrest unusual?

A French blogger named Sylko wrote to the Le Figaro website: "If he abused a 13-year-old girl back then, he should accept his act.

"The law must be the same for everyone." - Sapa-DPA

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