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Conditional release from prison for Josef F.

Conditional release from prison for Josef F.
The 88-year-old should be sent to normal prison under certain conditions
Image: JOE KLAMAR (AFP)
Joseph F.
The rear area of ​​the house in Amstetten in whose basement 42-year-old Elisabeth F. was held by her father Josef F. for 24 years.
Image: HELMUT FOHRINGER (APA/HELMUT FOHRINGER)

According to defense attorney Astrid Wagner, the decision is not legally binding. This was preceded by a non-public hearing by a three-member senate at the Krems Regional Court, which was attended by media interest. The 88-year-old will remain in the current setting until it becomes legal.

  • Also read: Josef F.: Senate of three decides on relocation

Release to normal prison is conditional on ten years. Josef F. must provide evidence of regular psychotherapy. The decision is not final because no representative of the public prosecutor’s office attended the hearing. According to the court, the prosecution now has 14 days to file an appeal. It is possible to lodge a complaint with the Vienna Higher Regional Court. Wagner, however, spoke of a “partial success” and her client was “very touched”.

A general conditional dismissal was also announced on Thursday. However, this step was rejected for general preventive reasons, the court said.

  • On the topic: New report: Demented Josef F. is “no longer dangerous”

The conditional and non-legal transfer to normal prison is based on a psychiatric report by the expert Heidi Kastner, which certifies that Josef F. no longer meets the conditions for placement due to, among other things, dementia. This was followed by the three-member Senate, which, according to Wagner, also found on Thursday that Josef F. “is no longer dangerous.”

Joseph F.
The rear area of ​​the house in Amstetten in whose basement 42-year-old Elisabeth F. was held by her father Josef F. for 24 years.
Image: HELMUT FOHRINGER (APA/HELMUT FOHRINGER)

At the end of the hearing, which lasted about 30 minutes, Wagner said that her client told “how he regrets what he did. So he was actually close to tears.” In general, Josef F. may well have developed a sense of injustice. “He thinks day and night about what he did, he also has the act in the cell and he has really dealt with it very intensively. He is a person who is absolutely deeply remorseful,” said the defense attorney.

Will general conditional dismissal follow?

Initially, it was not expected that a decision on the detention issue would be made on Thursday. A later written decision was announced by the court. A verbal announcement, which ultimately took place, was then specifically announced by Wagner in a media statement on Thursday morning. Josef F. – who now has a different name – is also already expecting to be transferred to normal prison, the lawyer told journalists.

For the 88-year-old, the current decision of the Krems three-member senate means that he should be placed in normal prison, but will currently remain in prison in the Stein prison until the decision becomes legally binding. Wagner wants to continue to campaign for a general conditional release, i.e. a step towards freedom for Josef F.. She would like to submit corresponding applications in the future.

International media interest

The hearing at the Krems Regional Court, which was not in itself public, was accompanied by great national and international media interest. Journalists from “Bild” in Germany and the British “The Sun” also arrived. Court spokesman Ferdinand Schuster reported numerous media inquiries: “I spent two days almost exclusively on the telephone.” Nevertheless, it was not the largest crowd in Krems in the past ten years, the spokesman pointed out that the state refusal trials at the regional court were very well attended by the media.

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