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Josef Fritzl Deemed To Still Be A Danger As He's Blocked From Moving Prison

Josef Fritzl Deemed To Still Be A Danger As He's Blocked From Moving Prison

If the the decision for him to be moved to a regular prison had been upheld, Fritzl could have been eligible to apply for parole in 2023

Plans to move Josef Fritzl to a softer prison have been blocked by the High Court who deem him mentally unfit to be transferred from a high security facility. 

Back in April, the criminal court in charge of Krems-Stein Prison – Austria's most secure psychiatric jail – ruled that Fritzl should be moved to the standard prison system

The decision was based on a psychiatric report stating the 87-year-old ‘no longer poses any danger’. 

However, the Krems public prosecutor's office lodged a complaint against the move and this has since been backed by senior judges in Vienna. 

The court has blocked the decision to move Josef Fritzl to a softer prison.
A psychiatric report said Josef Fritzl no longer posed a danger.

The Krems Regional Court confirmed the decision on Tuesday, (7 June), saying: "The Higher Regional Court (OLG) Vienna has recognised the need for further accommodation in an institution for mentally abnormal lawbreakers."

They explained that keeping Fritzl at the high-security facility is warranted due to the fact that he suffers from non-treatable serious mental illness.

If the Vienna court had upheld the decision for him to be moved to a regular prison, Fritzl could have been eligible to apply to be freed on parole as early as 2023.

Fritzl was sentenced to life in prison in 2009 after being convicted of the systematic abuse of his daughter Elisabeth, who was locked away in a tiny, soundproofed room in the cellar of his Austrian home for 24 years.

Elisabeth was kept in a sound-proofed room in his house.

During this time, the pensioner raped his daughter thousands of times, fathering seven children, one of whom passed away.

Three of these children were forced to stay in the basement with Elisabeth, while the other three were brought up into the family home to live with him. 

It wasn’t until one of Elisabeth's children, Kerstin, fell into a coma in 2008 that his crimes came to light. 

Fritzl agreed to let Kerstin seek medical attention, but staff could tell his story didn’t add up and they alerted the police, who launched an investigation and uncovered the truth. 

The world was shocked by the story, with neighbours describing him as someone who blended in well and kept to himself. 

Elisabeth and her children were taken into the care of Austrian social services and now live under new aliases. 

In 2017, Fritzl changed his surname to Mayrhoff but he continued to be a target for other prisoners. 

Fritzl will continue to be held at Austria's most secure psychiatric jail.

Ten years after his crimes were exposed, local media reported that he was showing signs of dementia and that he spent much of his time in solitary confinement. 

A fellow inmate said at the time: “Fritzl was and still is separated from everyone else. He has totally withdrawn himself and barely leaves his cell.”

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Featured Image Credit: Police Handout/Newsflash

Topics: Crime, World News