Tuesday, 17 March 2009

Fritzl pleads guilty to rape

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Josef Fritzl, who held his daughter in a cellar for 24 years and fathered seven children by her, has gone on trial in Austria.
The 73-year-old, who kept his face shielded with a blue legal folder, denied murder but pleaded guilty to rape, incest, coercion and false imprisonment.
Fritzl also said he was innocent of a charge of enslaving Elisabeth, now 42, for most of her life. She was allegedly kept with the children in a windowless 60 sq metre (650 sq ft) dungeon beneath the family home in Amstetten.
Three of her children grew up underground while the others were taken upstairs by Fritzl. It is alleged one child, a twin who died in infancy in 1996, might have survived if taken to a doctor.
Fritzl has allegedly told police he burned the newborn boy's body in a furnace after he suffered breathing problems and died. Legal experts have said the murder charge will be complicated by the absence of forensic evidence.
In court, Fritzl remained silent and motionless, ignoring questions from television crews, before the judge and jury of six men and six women entered and cameras were sent out, when he put the folder down.
Elisabeth has given hours of disturbing evidence which will just be shown to the jury via video.

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