Fritzl verdict expected on Thursday
Josef Fritzl arrives back in court for second day of trial over claims he imprisoned daughter for 24 years
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Tuesday, 17, Mar 2009 07:34
A verdict in the case of Josef Fritzl is expected on Thursday, journalists were told today as the second day of trial ended.
Today the 73-year-old watched the video testimony of the daughter he has admitted raping and fathering seven children with.
The Austrian pleaded guilty to incest and indicated a partially guilty plea to rape as his trial began in St Poelten yesterday.
But he denied enslavement or murder, the latter of which carries a life sentence. Three of the children born in the cellar remained there with their mother, while one died shortly after birth.
He is accused of imprisoning his daughter Elisabeth in a specially-constructed prison beneath their family home in Amstetten.
Elisabeth, now 43, has provided 11 hours of video testimony for the court that the public are not permitted to view.
The video is being shown in instalments throughout the week.
On Tuesday Mr Fritzl's face, previously obscured behind a blue folder, was seen in public for the first time when a photographer caught him off his guard.
State prosecutor Christiane Burkheiser summed up the last quarter of a century for Elisabeth and her children with the words: "Light out. Rape. Light on. Mould. Rape. In front of the children. The uncertainty. Birth. Death. Rape."
But Mr Fritzl's lawyer Rudolf Mayer urged jurors to "keep emotion out of this".
"A man who put so much effort into keeping two families cannot be called a monster," he is quoted by the Guardian as saying.
"If I only want a daughter as a sex slave, I don't let her bring children into the world. You'd let them starve."