'Mentally unnatural offender': court bans transfer of guilty incestuous Josef Fritzl

“The abnormal mental offender”
Court prohibits transfer of incestuous perpetrator Josef Fritzl

In 2009, Josef Fritzl was sentenced to life imprisonment for acts of incest. He held and abused his daughter for 24 years. Transferring him to an ordinary prison will do nothing for the 87-year-old – the court still considers Fritzl a danger to the general public.

Josef Fritzl, who was sentenced to life imprisonment in Amstetten in the incest case, is not transferred to the regular prison system. The regional court in Krems said the Vienna Higher Regional Court had determined the “necessity” of his further accommodation “in an institution for mentally ill offenders”. The regional court had released the 87-year-old in April, subject to conditions, to a so-called ordinary prison sentence. The Public Prosecutor’s Office in Krems filed a complaint.

The Vienna Higher Regional Court upheld the appeal. According to the information provided, the reason given was that Fritzl was still seriously and incurably ill, which justified his admission to carry out the measures. In addition, there were no “convincing indications” that it was no longer a danger.

Fritzl kept his daughter Elisabeth captive in a cellar for 24 years, regularly abused her and fathered seven children with her, one of whom died shortly after his birth. He and his wife raised three of the surviving children in their home, and the others had to live with their mother downstairs.

It was only when the seriously ill oldest daughter was admitted to a clinic in April 2008 that the crime was revealed. Fritzl, whose last name has since changed, was sentenced to life imprisonment in March 2009. He was held in Krems Stein Prison, intended for “mentally disturbed lawbreakers”. If Fritzl had been transferred to an ordinary prison, he could have applied for parole after at least 15 years in prison.

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