The Swiss Justice Ministry says director Roman Polanski is being held by Swiss authorities ahead of his possible extradition to the United States for allegedly having sex in 1977 with a 13-year-old girl.

The ministry says in a statement that Mr. Polanski was arrested on Saturday upon arriving in Zurich. It says U.S. authorities have sought Mr. Polanski's arrest around the world since 2005.

The 76-year-old was flying in to receive an award at the Zurich Film Festival.

Mr. Polanski fled the U.S. in 1978, a year after pleading guilty to unlawful sexual intercourse with the girl.

The statement on Sunday said Mr. Polanski will not be sent to the U.S. until extradition proceedings are completed. Mr. Polanski can contest his detention and any extradition decision in the Swiss courts.

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