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Europe

Fritzl’s hometown struggles to carry on

Video by Angela YEOH , Willy BRACCIANO

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2009-03-20

The town of Amstetten, where Josef Fritzl lived, is sick of the attention paid to its most infamous inhabitant. FRANCE 24's Willy Bracciano and Angela Yeoh sent us this report, which includes an exclusive pre-trial interview with Fritzl's lawyer.

 

The small Austrian town of Amstetten, whose most notorious former resident went on trial this week, is not used to playing host to crowds of journalists.

 

Almost a year after authorities found what Josef Fritzl had been hiding in his cellar, residents here are not keen to dwell on it.

 

A pharmacist who works across the road from the Fritzl residence said, "No, i just don't want to talk about it."

 

A few onlookers and journalists keep the neighbours on guard. They're fed up with all the attention.

 

One neighbour called down from his window to refuse an interview request: "You seem like nice people, but please leave me alone."

 

Frederik, who was born and bred in Amstetten, explained, "People here want to forget. Right now, Amstetten is being talked about around the world."

 

Part of that process of moving on involves determining what will happen to the now infamous Fritzl family home. State officials are due to make a public call for proposals following the trial.

 

The unease leading up to Josef Fritzl's trial extends to his lawyer. Rudolf Mayer has confirmed receiving death threats.

 

"Some of the threats are anonymous, by phone, email and letters. But others came with the full names and addresses; some of these even say that a person who's committed such a crime doesn't deserve a trial, that he deserves to be shot, and his defence lawyer with him," he said.

 

 

 

Date created : 2009-03-20

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