Josef Fritzl, the evil monster who kept his daughter as a sex slave for 24 years in an underground dungeon, could be released from prison early if he passes psychiatric tests.
The 86-year-old is currently serving a life sentence in the Krems-Stein psychiatric facility in Austria after being jailed in 2009.
However, he might be able to apply for early release once he has served 15 years — if he is deemed no longer a danger. The earliest he would be eligible is 2024.
Fritzl fathered seven children with his captive daughter Elisabeth, who he repeatedly raped between 1984 and 2008 in a dungeon under his home in Amstetten, Austria.
If he is allowed to walk free, he will have spent nearly a decade less imprisoned than Elisabeth did in his bunker.
Fritzl's monstrous crimes were uncovered 24 years after he locked Elizabeth – who was then aged 18 – in his basement and told police she had fled the family home to join a cult.
One child fathered by Frizel died shortly after birth while three others were brought upstairs to be raised by Frizel and his wife Rosemarie.
Fritzl told Rosemarie the children belonged to Elisabeth and had been left on their doorstep.
When Fritzl took Elisabeth’s dying daughter Kerstin — who had never been in the outside world before — to the hospital years later, suspicions were raised.
Fritzl is currently locked up at Austria’s most secure psychiatric jail. However, earlier this year he was reportedly allowed to move to a regular prison.
The move would have allowed him to apply to be released, but it was blocked and appealed by the public prosecutor’s office.
The Vienna Higher Regional Court has now ruled that Fritzl must first undergo a psychological assessment and has appointed an expert to examine his condition.
If the expert detects any abnormalities, Fritzl will remain in the prison system. But if they deem him of sound mind, he could be released from prison.
The decision is expected by the end of January.
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