Dungeon dad on suicide watch before trial

March 16th, 2009 - 12:26 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Mar 16 (ANI): Jail officials have been keeping a close watch on dungeon dad Josef Fritzl to ensure that he does not commit suicide before his trial begins.

The 73-year-old Austrian held his daughter Elisabeth captive in a dungeon beneath his home, raped her since she was 18 years of age, and fathered seven children with her, while keeping her as a sex slave for 24 years.

Amidst tight security and huge media and public interest, Fritzl will appear in the dock in St Polten, around 40 miles east of his hometown of Amstetten.

Prison officials have revealed that Fritzl is being observed closely as his trial is drawing near.

“We”re taking no risks,” the Guardian quoted Gunther Morwald, head of the St Polten prison, where Fritzl has been held in custody since his arrest last April, as saying.

He added: “He’’s under constant watch. We”re aware of the possibility he might self-harm.”

A no-fly zone has also been established in the airspace over the courtroom to prevent media intrusion and escape attempts.

Officials have even changed the locks of the court to avoid any security lapses.

Frizls lawyer Rudolf Mayer has said that he is expected to plead guilty to most of the charges he is facing, including rape, incest and abuse, but will probably contest the charges of enslavement and murder.

Central to the trial will be the accusation that Fritzl murdered through neglect a baby twin called Michael, born to his daughter in the cellar in 1996. (ANI)

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Posted in World |