Josef Fritzl could be released from prison after psychological examination

Josef Fritzl, who imprisoned his daughter in a cellar for 24 years, could be released from prison awaiting psychological tests, overseas media reports.

Fritzl, now 86, was jailed for life in Austria in 2008 for his crimes, which included raping his daughter thousands of times during her captivity.

She eventually gave birth to seven of his children.

In 2009, Fritzl was sentenced to life in prison without the possibility of parole for 15 years.  (AAP)
Josef Fritzl could be released from prison in Austria.

Elisabeth’s captivity only ended when one of these children was taken to a hospital and the staff became suspicious.

Fritzl had previously said his daughter had run away.

But now he may be eligible for release in 2024, UK Telegraph has reviewed.

Fritzl had been held in a facility for criminal insanity, meaning he could not apply for release.

An archive photo shows the apartment block in Amstetten, Austria, where Josef Fritzl subjected his daughter Elisabeth to 24 years of horrific abuse.  Upon release, Elisabeth and her children were extremely pale and could not tolerate natural light due to severe vitamin D deficiency.  (AAP)
Fritzl kept his daughter Elisabeth imprisoned in a soundproof basement.

But after a court earlier this year ruled he should be moved to a regular jail and the public prosecutor’s office blocked the decision, a higher court was forced to intervene.

Fritzl must now undergo a psychological assessment to determine his mental state and whether he should be transferred to a regular prison.

In that case, he would be able to apply for an early release after sitting behind bars for 15 years.

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That would be nine years less than holding his daughter captive.

However, the Telegraph reported that Fritzl is unlikely to pass the investigation as he shows signs of dementia and poor mental health.

Elisabeth lives under an assumed name in Austria with her children.

If you need assistance, contact the National Domestic Violence Service at 1800 RESPECT (1800 737 732). If you are in immediate danger, call triple zero.

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