London, May 5 : Dungeon dad Josef Fritzl, who imprisoned his daughter and the children he fathered by her in a cellar for years, will plead insanity in order to avoid a prison sentence.
Fritzl's lawyers will argue that he was not responsible for his actions and will try to obtain a certificate of insanity, reports Times Online.
Fritzl, 73, has admitted imprisoning his daughter for 24 years, having sex with her and incinerating the corpse of one of their seven children.
Rudolf Mayer, who represents Fritzl, said: "In my opinion, Josef Fritzl is mentally ill and therefore not responsible for his actions. I believe that my client does not belong in a prison but rather in a closed psychiatric ward."
The St Pvlten court, where Fritzl will stand trial, has appointed a forensic psychiatrist to gauge his mental health and settle on whether he was responsible for his actions when he imprisoned and raped his daughter Elisabeth, now 42.
Mayer said that he was convinced that his client was "mentally incompetent" and that he would confront any other decisions by the court psychiatrist and demand another expert opinion from a psychiatrist of his choice.
"If I feel that the expert opinion does not correctly portray the personality of my client, I will order another expert examination," he said.
Mayer also revealed that he is being victimised for representing Fritzl.
"I am getting letters saying I should be locked up together with Fritzl. But I am not representing a monster; I am representing a human being," he said.
According to Austrian police, Fritzl imprisoned his daughter, Elisabeth, in a soundproof, windowless dungeon in his basement for 24 years, where he fathered seven children by her.