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
peopleFrankie Boyle responds to referendum result in characteristically offensive style
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvHe is only remaining member of original cast
Arts and Entertainment
tvHighs and lows of the cast's careers since 2004
Harry Redknapp. Mark Hughes and Ryan Shawcross
footballNews and updates as Queens Park Rangers host the Potters
ebooksAn unforgettable anthology of contemporary reportage
New Articles
i100... with this review
Holly's review of Peterborough's Pizza Express quickly went viral on social media
New Articles
Arts and Entertainment
musicHow female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Arts and Entertainment
musicBiographer Hunter Davies has collected nearly a hundred original manuscripts
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

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

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Cover Supervisor

£75 - £90 per day + negotiable: Randstad Education Group: Are you a cover supe...

Marketing Manager - Leicestershire - £35,000

£30000 - £35000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Marketing Manager (CIM, B2B, MS Offi...

Marketing Executive (B2B and B2C) - Rugby, Warwickshire

£22000 - £25000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A highly successful organisation wit...

SEN Coordinator + Teacher (SENCO)

£1 per day: Randstad Education Leeds: Job Purpose To work closely with the he...

Day In a Page

Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam