Dave Itzkoff at The New York Times has the best and briefest explanation of the Swiss decision:
The justice ministry of Switzerland said on Monday that it had denied a request to extradite the director Roman Polanski to the United States, where he has been a fugitive since 1978 after pleading guilty to having sex with a 13-year-old girl, and that he was no longer under house arrest.
In rejecting the extradition request from the United States, the Swiss ministry cited two factors: first, the Swiss said, the U.S. had failed to provide the records of a January hearing in Los Angeles County Superior Court that would have shown the judge in charge of the Polanski case in 1977 agreed that ‚Äúthe 42 days of detention spent by Roman Polanski in the psychiatric unit of a Californian prison represented the whole term of imprisonment he was condemned to.‚Äù
Second, the Swiss said, when Mr. Polanski traveled in September 2009 to the Zurich Film Festival where he was arrested as he arrived at the airport, he did so in ‚Äúgood faith‚Äù that ‚Äúthe journey would not entail any legal disadvantages for him.‚Äù The Swiss justice ministry noted that Mr. Polanski had been staying regularly in Switzerland since 2006, and though ‚Äúhe was registered in the Swiss registry of wanted persons, he was never controlled by the Swiss authorities.‚Äù
Do you think it’s possible to discuss this legal conclusion in terms of how might affect the perception of Polanski and his future film prospects by the Hollywood community without clawing each other’s eyes out? Do you think we can try, please?