Elisabeth Fritzl to Receive Interview Money
Posted by shadmia on March 12, 2009
Josef Fritzl goes on trial March 16,2009. He is charged with multiple crimes including: abuse, incest, rape, false imprisonment, slavery and murder – arising from his 24-year imprisonment and rape of his own daughter, Elisabeth. Catch the story from the beginning in this 5-part video called The Josef Fritzl Story and read about developments in the case since being arrested and imprisoned on The Josef Fritzl Page.
In the upcoming trial Josef Fritzl is expected to plead guilty to most of the charges against him. His lawyer, Rudolf Mayer, said his client would admit to deprivation of liberty, rape, incest and coercion and fully expects to spend the rest of his life in prison. Fritzl has however indicated that he will contest the charge that he is guilty of the murder of one of the 7 children that Elisabeth bore him.
Rudolf Mayer told the Austrian news agency APA his client was a deeply disturbed character. But, referring to newspaper headlines, he denied Mr Fritzl was a “sex monster” and said he loved his daughter Elisabeth “in his own way“.
The trial will be held at Sankt Pölten criminal court on 16 March under tight security. Court officials have pledged to have 30 police officers on duty as well as prison guards after Fritzl’s legal team demanded they provide protection for him – and for them. In addition, Frank Cutka, deputy head of the court of Sankt Poelten said the court ditched initial plans to locate the jury – eight people and four substitutes – at the nearby army base.
Cutka admitted the court realized it would be “unbearable” for the jury to stay there because facilities are so primitive. It has now been decided that the jury members will stay at a secret place from where they will be transported to the court everyday.
The court has already handed in a request to air traffic control authority “Austro Control” to declare the airspace over the courtroom a no-go zone for the duration of the trial to avoid news helicopters.
Regardless of the outcome of the trial Josef Fritzl is officially broke. He has been declared bankrupt and liquidators have been called in to carve up his assets including his estate of seven properties – once worth millions of dollars. The sale of the properties will barely cover Fritzl’s debts to local banks and the Austrian taxman leaving nothing for his abused daughter and her six children.
Elisabeth herself has refused offers of millions of dollars for interviews and books about her 24 years locked in the cellar prison under the family home. She had hoped to stake a claim on her father’s estate as compensation for her ordeal. His bankruptcy has made those plans unrealistic.
However, Josef Fritzl has agreed to do one interview after the conclusion of his trial. In a show of solidarity towards Elisabeth and her kids, it has been agreed that she will receive all the income from that interview. The agreement worked out between Josef’s legal team, officials handling the liquidation and other creditors stipulates that all the money goes to Elisabeth and her family. The firm handling the details of the contract, Central European News, has also agreed to waive any fee. News editor David Hill said:
“If the banks can waive their share then it has to be possible for us as a news agency to also do this for nothing. We respect Elisabeth’s wishes not to be forced to give up her right to privacy – and have the chance to rebuild her life without the need to sell her story to the media. She wants to be able to go out with her children without everybody pointing and knowing who she is.”
“The court has already drawn up documents guaranteeing any money we make from selling this interview will go to Elisabeth and her family, and not a penny of it will go to Josef Fritzl.
“Under normal circumstances no respectable media organization would pay a criminal for their story, especially one like Josef Fritzl, but given the very unusual circumstances here and the fact that every penny will be going directly to the victims as compensation – I’m hoping that we will have a lot of interest,” he added.
Josef Fritzl has indicated that he is prepared to do the interview in either English or German and has asked for a copy of the questions in advance.