Dungeon dad's trial to be held 'in secret'

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London, Feb 21 (ANI): Trial of Josef Fritzl, the Austrian man who kept his daughter locked in a cellar for 24 years, could be held behind closed doors.

According to reports, Austrian officials have been told that they can ban the public and press.

The county's senior legal authority has confirmed judges would be right to hold a closed-door trial if they felt open hearings could cause further damage to victims, reports the Daily Star.

Fritzl's daughter Elisabeth - imprisoned for more than two decades as his sex slave - has been spared the pain of giving live testimony after making sworn statements.

Fritzl's five-day trial begins next month in Sankt Poelten court.

Kurt Kirchbacher, privy councillor at the High Court of Salzburg, revealed: "The need to protect the victims might be a strong concern in this case.

"Laws protecting victims have been increased hugely and this will of course affect the trial."

Fritzl is scheduled to stand trial on March 16.

He is facing charges of murder, rape, slavery, incest, imprisonment and abuse and is likely to spend the rest of his life behind bars.

The 74-year-old locked Elizabeth in the cellar of the family home in Amstetten.

Elizabeth had eight children while in the underground "dungeon", but one died three days after childbirth. Fritzl allegedly disposed of the baby's body in a stove.

His alleged crimes only came to light when another of the children became sick and Elizabeth forced him to take her to the hospital. (ANI)

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