Amstetten incest case

Josef Fritzl is transferred to normal prison

14.05.2024 09:27

Josef Fritzl (89), who was sentenced to life imprisonment for incest, will be conditionally released from detention. This was announced by the Krems an der Donau Regional Court on Tuesday morning. However, he will remain in Stein prison for the time being.

The 89-year-old is to be transferred to a normal prison; he had been committed to an institution for mentally abnormal lawbreakers, i.e. a forensic-therapeutic center, in 2009. However, the written decision of a three-judge panel is not yet legally binding.

The decision is based on a non-public hearing of Josef F. on April 30. The main topic of discussion was a psychiatric report by expert witness Adelheid Kastner. "She confirmed that there had been a massive dementia-related deterioration that had buried the originally dangerous person within himself," said defense lawyer Astrid Wagner. The 89-year-old was no longer dangerous.

Josef Fritzl (Bild: Imre Antal, Krone KREATIV)
Josef Fritzl
Stein prison (Bild: APA/EVA MANHART)
Stein prison

Dementia is progressing
Medical reports and current findings were also obtained. The prisoner's dementia had progressed, and he was also suffering from physical deterioration and a combined personality disorder. These had made it necessary to commit him to the detention center.

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She confirmed that there had been a massive dementia-related deterioration that had buried the originally dangerous person within himself.

Fritzls Verteidigern Astrid Wagner über ein Gutachten

"Such dangerousness is (...) a basic prerequisite for placement. In addition, progression of the chronic dementia is to be expected."

Release from custody rejected
At the same time, it was decided that a conditional release on liberty is not possible. According to the court, the convicted offenses would show "unprecedented criminal energy". In freedom, neither a "necessary confrontation with the deeds" nor a place to live or a social environment would be provided.

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In the same decision, the three-judge panel also ruled that a conditional release from the normal prison sentence, i.e. a release to freedom, is not possible for special preventive reasons.

Landesgericht Krems an der Donau

A probationary period of ten years was set for the normal prison sentence. The decision is not yet legally binding. Both the prisoner with his defense and the public prosecutor's office still have the opportunity to lodge an appeal. The deadline is two weeks.

The 89-year-old will "certainly be pleased"
Defense lawyer Wagner described the decision as logical. It is "a first step" and the 89-year-old will "certainly be very pleased." The next goal is a general release into freedom, but at the moment she did not expect a different decision.

The Amstetten incest case came to light at the end of 2008. Josef Fritzl had held his daughter captive in a cellar dungeon for 24 years and fathered seven children with her, one of whom died at birth. In March 2009, the accused was sentenced to life imprisonment in St. Pölten, and at the same time it was decided that he would be placed in an institution. He was found guilty on all charges - murder by omission, slave trade, deprivation of liberty, rape, blood libel and aggravated coercion.

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