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Last Updated: Friday, 29 September 2006, 18:09 GMT 19:09 UK
Austrian kidnap girl in own flat
Natascha Kampusch (television grab)
Natascha Kampusch will continue to receive counselling
The Austrian girl who spent more than eight years held captive after being snatched from the street at 10 has left hospital and moved into her own flat.

Natascha Kampusch moved into the apartment, in a specialised housing complex, earlier this week.

The 18-year-old's move was described as an important step towards a free life.

She will continue to receive counselling and medical attention in the assisted-living apartment, where she will remain as long as she wishes.

Enjoying freedom

"This is an important intermediate step so that she can soon move on to a free life," said her lawyer, Gerald Ganzger.

"She is starting a new life in freedom with a lot of dedication and enjoys things she was not able to do during her captivity," he said.

Wolfgang Priklopil
Wolfgang Priklopil committed suicide after Natascha escaped

Natascha managed to escape from her captor, 44-year-old Wolfgang Priklopil, on 23 August.

The communications technician had held Ms Kampusch in a small, windowless basement beneath his garage in the commuter town of Strasshof, 25km (15 miles) outside Vienna for eight and a half years.

He committed suicide by jumping under a train after Ms Kampusch escaped. He was secretly buried at a cemetery south of Vienna on 8 September.

Ms Kampusch has been out in Vienna several times, but always under supervision.

In a recent interview with an Austrian magazine, Ms Kampusch said she would like to finish her education and was thinking of a range of possible future careers.




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