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Page last updated at 11:48 GMT, Tuesday, 10 June 2008 12:48 UK

Austria cellar daughter conscious

Landesklinikum Amstetten-Mauer hospital, where Elisabeth Fritzl and her children are being cared for
The hospital said Kerstin still needed medical and therapeutic care

Kerstin Fritzl, the 19-year-old woman whose illness in April alerted Austria's authorities to a major incest scandal, has regained consciousness.

Kerstin is the oldest of seven children fathered by Josef Fritzl with Elisabeth - the daughter he held captive for 24 years and raped repeatedly.

Doctors say Kerstin still requires intensive medical care.

They have refused to comment on reports she has been reunited with her mother and the other five surviving siblings.

Mr Fritzl, 73, remains in detention pending charges. Last Friday he was remanded in custody for another two months.

His actions came to light when Kerstin became seriously ill in April.

Intensive care

Mr Fritzl had kept Elisabeth captive with Kerstin and two other siblings, in a cellar beneath his house.

Josef Fritzl
Mr Fritzl describes his behaviour as an "addiction"

Kerstin was let out of the cellar and admitted to hospital on 19 April, after which Mr Fritzl and Elizabeth were picked up by police.

Kerstin was later placed in intensive care, from which she re-emerged two days ago.

A spokesman for the hospital, in the central Austrian town of Amstetten, said more details about her condition would be released on Wednesday.

Elisabeth and her other children are continuing to be cared for at a psychiatric clinic. Their lawyer has said they are likely to be given new identities and may also consider relocating to another country.

Prosecutors say they hope to interview them in early July, but that this will depend on their state of health.

Elisabeth has previously told police her father started sexually abusing her when she was 11.

In reported conversations with his lawyer, Mr Fritzl admitted repeatedly raping his daughter in the cellar, saying it had been "like an addiction".




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