FBI may review Kampusch case cover-up claims

Austrian government committee wants agents to look at Kampusch inquiry 'flaws'

Austrian officials have recommended that FBI agents be called in to investigate into the abduction of Natascha Kampusch, the schoolgirl kidnapped and held in a cellar for eight years, because of inconsistencies in her case which point to the existence of a hitherto unknown accomplice.

The idea of using US investigators came from a parliamentary committee of inquiry which has spent months re-examining evidence collected during the Kampusch case, with the aim of finding out if Austrian police acted properly and followed up all leads.

"It is our opinion that both of these questions have to be answered with, 'no'," the inquiry's chairman, Werner Amon, told parliament. The inquiry also declared that it had not been able to conclusively say whether another kidnapper had been involved.

The government will now consider requesting the services of foreign specialists. The parliamentary inquiry specifically recommended the FBI.

Natascha Kampusch was 10 when she was snatched off a street in Vienna in 1998 and bundled into the back of a van. She spent the next eight years imprisoned in a specially built underground cell beneath the suburban home of her tormentor.

In August 2006, she finally managed to escape. Neighbours discovered the 18-year-old girl looking pale, emaciated and terrified as she hid in a neighbour's garden. Later that day, the headless corpse of Wolfgang Priklopil, her 44-year-old kidnapper, was found on a railway line just outside the Austrian capital.

Police took it for granted that Priklopil had acted alone and took his own life to avoid capture. Yet new evidence has emerged which suggests he may have had an accomplice who eventually murdered him.

There has been speculation that Ms Kampusch's version of her ordeal may not have been entirely truthful and that she had an affair with Priklopil.

The eyewitness account of a 12-year-old schoolgirl, thought to have been the only person who saw Ms Kampusch being abducted in March 1998, provides the most convincing evidence that another person was involved in the kidnap.

That girl, now 23, has revealed that she told police on six occasions that another man was sitting in the driving seat of the white van as Priklopil abducted Ms Kampusch. She has since testified under oath that police put her under intense pressure not to mention the existence of a second man. The Vienna inquiry confirmed last week that she had been "pressurised."

DNA traces on the car Priklopil is said to have driven for six hours before his supposed suicide also point to the existence of a third person.

Ms Kampusch, now 24, has repeatedly dismissed suggestions that a second kidnapper was involved. She has also denied reports she had an affair with Priklopil. A feature film about her ordeal is being made in Austria.

Suggested Topics
Start your day with The Independent, sign up for daily news emails
ebooks
ebooksA special investigation by Andy McSmith
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Installation and Service / Security Engineer

£22000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This company is part of a Group...

Recruitment Genius: Service Charge Accounts Assistant

£16000 - £18000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you a a young, dynamic pers...

Cancer Research UK: Corporate Partnerships Volunteer Events Coordinator – London

Voluntary: Cancer Research UK: We’re looking for someone to support our award ...

Ashdown Group: Head of IT - Hertfordshire - £90,000

£70000 - £90000 per annum + bonus + car allowance + benefits: Ashdown Group: H...

Day In a Page

General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband

Chuka Umunna: A virus of racism runs through Ukip

The shadow business secretary on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
Yemen crisis: This exotic war will soon become Europe's problem

Yemen's exotic war will soon affect Europe

Terrorism and boatloads of desperate migrants will be the outcome of the Saudi air campaign, says Patrick Cockburn
Marginal Streets project aims to document voters in the run-up to the General Election

Marginal Streets project documents voters

Independent photographers Joseph Fox and Orlando Gili are uploading two portraits of constituents to their website for each day of the campaign
Game of Thrones: Visit the real-life kingdom of Westeros to see where violent history ends and telly tourism begins

The real-life kingdom of Westeros

Is there something a little uncomfortable about Game of Thrones shooting in Northern Ireland?
How to survive a social-media mauling, by the tough women of Twitter

How to survive a Twitter mauling

Mary Beard, Caroline Criado-Perez, Louise Mensch, Bunny La Roche and Courtney Barrasford reveal how to trounce the trolls
Gallipoli centenary: At dawn, the young remember the young who perished in one of the First World War's bloodiest battles

At dawn, the young remember the young

A century ago, soldiers of the Empire – many no more than boys – spilt on to Gallipoli’s beaches. On this 100th Anzac Day, there are personal, poetic tributes to their sacrifice
Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves

Follow the money as never before

Dissent is slowly building against the billions spent on presidential campaigns – even among politicians themselves, reports Rupert Cornwell
Samuel West interview: The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents

Samuel West interview

The actor and director on austerity, unionisation, and not mentioning his famous parents
General Election 2015: Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Imagine if the leading political parties were fashion labels

Fashion editor, Alexander Fury, on what the leaders' appearances tell us about them
Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka: Home can be the unsafest place for women

The architect of the HeForShe movement and head of UN Women on the world's failure to combat domestic violence
Public relations as 'art'? Surely not

Confessions of a former PR man

The 'art' of public relations is being celebrated by the V&A museum, triggering some happy memories for DJ Taylor
Bill Granger recipes: Our chef succumbs to his sugar cravings with super-luxurious sweet treats

Bill Granger's luxurious sweet treats

Our chef loves to stop for 30 minutes to catch up on the day's gossip, while nibbling on something sweet
London Marathon 2015: Paula Radcliffe and the mother of all goodbyes

The mother of all goodbyes

Paula Radcliffe's farewell to the London Marathon will be a family affair
Everton vs Manchester United: Steven Naismith demands 'better' if Toffees are to upset the odds against United

Steven Naismith: 'We know we must do better'

The Everton forward explains the reasons behind club's decline this season
Arsenal vs Chelsea: Praise to Arsene Wenger for having the courage of his convictions

Michael Calvin's Last Word

Praise to Wenger for having the courage of his convictions