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Last Updated: Tuesday, 29 August 2006, 17:52 GMT 18:52 UK
Kidnap girl 'wants an education'
Room of Natascha Kampusch in house of alleged kidnapper
Natascha's tiny living space was cluttered with belongings
Austrian teenager Natascha Kampusch, whose eight-year kidnap ordeal made headlines worldwide, now wants to get an education, her lawyer says.

Guenter Harrich said he wanted to help her "so that within five years, she can live at least a half-reasonable life".

Austrian media said he had spent an hour with her and had described her as a "tender, likeable, bright woman, amazingly talented intellectually".

He said he was seeking financial support for her.

Ms Kampusch is being kept in a safe location away from intense media scrutiny. No picture of her has been released since her emergence from captivity last week.

Compensation claim

She is spending her time "writing, painting, reading and talking", her lawyer said, adding that he had bought some make-up for her.

On her behalf, he is requesting compensation for her loss of earnings and funds to cover the costs of her therapy, he said.

Police photo showing stairs leading to cell

Mr Harrich has said the house should be given to Ms Kampusch as compensation for her suffering, Austria's ORF news website reported.

Police are thoroughly examining the house in Strasshof, a village just outside Vienna, where Ms Kampusch says 44-year-old Wolfgang Priklopil kept her imprisoned.

Photos released by police show the small underground hiding place in the house where she lived.

The pictures show a cluttered, windowless room with wash basin, toilet, bed and cupboards and narrow concrete stairs leading up to a trapdoor.

Legal review

Meanwhile, Austria's justice ministry is considering increasing the penalty for kidnappings like that of Ms Kampusch.

Under the current law, Mr Priklopil, who killed himself last Wednesday just hours after she escaped, would have got a maximum prison sentence of 10 years for "denial of liberty" if convicted.

He never demanded a ransom after allegedly kidnapping the girl in 1998 when she was 10.

Justice ministry spokesman Christoph Poechinger said a working group was considering raising the maximum jail term in such cases to 20 years.

In a statement on Monday, Ms Kampusch said she and Mr Priklopil had eaten meals and watched television together, and had jointly done the housework.

Mr Priklopil "was not my lord, although he wanted to be - I was just as strong", she added.

"To give you a metaphor - he carried me in his arms but also trampled me underfoot."

Police suspect she may have been suffering from "Stockholm Syndrome" - a condition where some abductees gradually begin to sympathise with their captors.

Her parents, who separated after her abduction, have complained that they have not been told where she is staying.




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Where Natascha Kampusch was held captive



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