Amstetten incest case: Krems three-member senate hears Josef F. on Thursday

Amstetten incest case: Krems three-member senate hears Josef F. on Thursday
Will Josef F. be placed in the normal prison system?
Image: (Volker Weihbold)

It’s about the transfer of the 88-year-old from measures to normal prison. A psychiatric report confirms that the conditions for accommodation are no longer met. The hearing itself will take place behind closed doors.

“A formality”

The event will begin on Thursday at 8 a.m. For Astrid Wagner, who defends Josef F., the hearing is “a formality”; based on the report, “the reduction in danger” is clear. Your client should be “released and placed in normal prison.” At the same time, this is a step towards general conditional dismissal, which Wagner continues to strive for. “The justice system will have to consider where to adequately treat an impaired person,” said Wagner.

  • Also read: New report: Demented Josef F. is “no longer dangerous”
  • Article on the topic: Very elderly people in prison: What happens when prisoners become in need of care
  • Comment: “Just” punishment for Josef F.

The report by psychiatric expert Heidi Kastner, presented in December 2023, comes to the conclusion that Josef F. – he has since changed his name – is no longer expected to commit criminal acts due to dementia. In addition, the elderly man was in a physically weak condition as a result of several falls. According to earlier court statements, from a psychiatric perspective the medical accommodation requirements of the law are no longer met. The illness ensures that “acts predicted to have serious consequences will no longer occur.”

Decision in “two to three weeks”

Based on this expertise, a three-judge panel of the Krems Regional Court will decide whether the 88-year-old will be conditionally released from the enforcement of the measures. If this is answered in the affirmative, the three-member Senate will also decide on a general conditional dismissal, court spokesman Ferdinand Schuster emphasized on Tuesday upon request. A written decision will be made. A decision can be expected in “two to three weeks,” said Schuster. Josef F. or his legal representation as well as the public prosecutor’s office can subsequently lodge a complaint with the Higher Regional Court (OLG) in Vienna.

Sentenced to life imprisonment

The general legal background for this is that those sentenced to life imprisonment in the so-called normal prison system can apply for conditional release for the first time after serving 15 years. In the case of Josef F., this requirement has been met since 2023. He was arrested in April 2008, and in March 2009 he was sentenced to life imprisonment and sent to prison. Since then he has been housed in the Krems-Stein prison.

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Source: Nachrichten

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