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Trial date set for father who raped daughter for 24 years

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Josef Fritzl
Josef Fritzl

Josef Fritzl, the Austrian accused of keeping his daughter as a sex slave for 24 years, will go on trial on 16 March, a court in Austria has announced.

He is charged with murder, enslavement, rape, incest and false imprisonment.

Investigators say Mr Fritzl, 73, has confessed to imprisoning and raping his daughter Elisabeth, and fathering seven children by her.

But he denies murdering one of those children, who died shortly after birth and whose body he incinerated.

His trial will last about a week, court spokesman Franz Cutka told the AFP news agency.

A psychiatrist’s report last October said he was mentally fit to stand trial.

Mr Fritzl is being held in pre-trial detention in St Poelten, 80km (50 miles) west of the capital, Vienna.

Of the six surviving children, three were raised in the family home, while the others were confined to the cellar for their whole lives, not seeing the light of day until they were discovered and released by police in April 2008.

The case first came to light after 19-year-old Kerstin, one of the children fathered by Mr Fritzl and kept underground, became seriously ill and was taken to hospital.

Source: BBC

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