Tuesday, December 30, 2008


Josef Fritzl
The trial of Josef Fritzl is expected to begin in March 2009

An Austrian woman allegedly held as a sex slave by her father for 24 years has left the clinic where she had been recovering since being freed in April.

Elisabeth Fritzl and the six children allegedly sired by her father had moved into their own house, her lawyer said.

Josef Fritzl faces trial in early 2009 on charges of kidnapping Elisabeth, now 42, when she was 18 and holding her captive in a bunker in his back garden.

He is also charged with slavery, rape and the murder of one child.

That child - his seventh with Elisabeth - was born in the underground chamber in Amstetten, west of Vienna, but died in infancy.

Mr Fritzl is alleged to have refused to call for medical help after the baby was born, despite knowing the child could die.

Mr Fritzl, 73, has been in custody since the case came to light in April, when Elisabeth's eldest daughter, Kerstin, was taken to hospital suffering from kidney failure.

Three of her surviving children grew up in the cellar, without ever seeing daylight, while the three others were brought up by Mr Fritzl's wife.

Austrian prosecutors say the charges against Mr Fritzl carry a prison sentence of 10 years to life.



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