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Last Updated: Tuesday, 29 August 2006, 15:04 GMT 16:04 UK
Kidnap preoccupies Austrian press
Safe door concealing the cellar in which Natascha Kampusch was held captive
The police have been criticised for revealing many details of the case

The case of 18-year-old Natascha Kampusch, held in an underground cell in a quiet Vienna suburb for eight years, continues to dominate the front pages in Austria.

Questions are raised about the police handling of the case and the teenager's prospects for compensation after her kidnap ordeal.

Along with most leading papers, Kronen Zeitung leads with her first statement, read out to the media by her psychiatrist, about her abductor Wolfgang Priklopil.

Der Kurier's headline reads: "Natascha Kampusch on her captor: 'He was part of my life'" and the story runs above a large picture of her hand-written statement.

Die Presse, another widely-read paper, runs an interview with Austrian psychiatrist, Professor Reinhard Haller. He tells the paper he did not think she wrote the statement by herself, as it contains both childish phrases and sophisticated language.

Prof Haller says she is showing clear ambivalence towards her dead captor, 44-year-old Wolfgang Priklopil. The relationship was a "complicated and varied one that's difficult to explain", he says, but he predicts she will adjust well in the future.

Cash questions

As media organisations begin bidding for the rights to the story that has gripped the nation, media lawyer Wolfgang Rosam tells Kronen Zeitung he thinks it is legitimate for Natascha "to sell her story for the best she can get".

And one psychiatrist says Natascha Kampusch is entitled to 664,900 euros (448,000) in damages from the Austrian criminal injuries compensation board and needs people to help her manage it.

Police and media

Der Standard carries criticism of the police from lawyer Maria Windhager, who says "too many details were made public".

The lawyer, who specialises in media cases, criticises the way police issued information to the media, for example speculation about possible sexual abuse.

"Police were not trained well enough to deal with this kind of incident and there could be big implications if a false picture of Natascha has been presented," the lawyer says.

Natascha is also within her rights to bring a legal action against parts of the Austrian media, the lawyer says, particularly over the publication of pictures from her childhood.

Salzburger Nachtrichten quotes Interior Minister Liese Prokop saying she does not want to blame police, after it emerged they questioned Wolfgang Priklopil at the time of the disappearance in March 1998. "At the time they worked using the best of their knowledge and abilities," she said.

"With today's technology and knowledge one or two things could be done better and more intensively."

Kurier quotes Maj-Gen Gerhard Lang of the Federal Criminal Investigations Bureau saying police at the time found Priklopil "convincing, friendly and co-operative - no one had any reason to doubt him".

Public opinion

Salzburger Nachtrichten carries the results of a public opinion poll showing that 81.8% of respondents were convinced that overall the reports on TV, radio and in newspapers had been fair, factual and sympathetic.

Moreover, some 74.4% thought it correct that Natascha had been rigorously shielded from media intrusion so far.

BBC Monitoring selects and translates news from radio, television, press, news agencies and the internet from 150 countries in more than 70 languages. It is based in Caversham, UK, and has several bureaux abroad.




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