Police Corruption & Incompetence in the Kampusch Case

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Police Corruption & Incompetence in the Kampusch Case

Postby AliBarbour » Thu Apr 17, 2008 2:32 pm

Shocking revelations from Germany concerning the incompetence and corruption of the Austrian police force in the investigation into the disappearance of Natascha Kampusch -

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/w ... 761084.ece

From The TimesApril 17, 2008

Police 'held back sex-slave photos' found at Natascha Kampusch kidnap house

Michael Leidig
Photographs showing Natascha Kampusch being used as a sex slave by her kidnapper were hidden by Austrian police to avoid a political scandal, according to previously unreleased documents.

Ms Kampusch, who was kidnapped on her way to school when she was 10, was kept in a bunker beneath a house near Vienna by Wolfgang Priklopil for eight years before she escaped in August 2006. He committed suicide hours later.

Two months after her escape Stern, the respected German magazine, reported that police had found pictures that showed Ms Kampusch being sexually abused by friends of Priklopil, 44. The magazine said that she had been handcuffed and photographed for "cruel games".

The discovery of documents is the first recorded corroboration of the report by Stern. The documents, which were obtained by Heute, the Austrian daily newspaper, outline how Austrian police were told not to investigate further any leads or material seized from the home of Priklopil.

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They reveal that among the evidence, which police were ordered to destroy or hide, were photographs on two mini-DVDs that would have linked others with the abuse of Ms Kampusch.

Investigators were not allowed to view the pictures and consider charges against other people because senior politicians did not want a scandal before a general election, according to the documents.

The paperwork shows that Herwig Haidinger, then the chief of the Austrian criminal police, complained in an e-mail to the Interior Ministry that another senior police officer, Major-General Nikolaus Koch, had ordered the destruction of the evidence.

After Ms Kampusch escaped it was discovered that police had made mistakes during the search for her, including ignoring a statement from a police dog handler.

The statement, which included the address of Priklopil and a description of his character, was made on April 14, 1998, less than six weeks after Ms Kampusch was abducted. It was sent to the investigating officer but was apparently lost.

Mr Haidinger said that when he found the statement after Ms Kampusch escaped he wanted the dog handler to be questioned, but confirmed that he received direct instructions from the Interior Ministry not to proceed.

"We don't need a police scandal prior to the parliamentary elections," Mr Haidinger quoted officials from the ministry as saying.

G├╝nther Platter, the conservative Interior Minister who came to power after the elections, called the claims "rumours and allegations".
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Re: Police Corruption & Incompetence in the Kampusch Case

Postby Marianna » Thu Apr 17, 2008 2:44 pm

In the TV interview after Natascha escaped, she was pressed on whether Priklopil had sexually abused her, and she refused absolutely to comment.

It seemed at the time that the psychiatrists/ologists who had been caring for her after her escape had advised against revealing any details. I think also that for stuff like this to be made public could have had a very adverse effect on her rehabilitation at that point. Don't forget that her adolescent years were entirely spent with Priklopil, and her mental state would have been fragile. If a rape victim can have anonymity, shouldn't Natascha also have a right to privacy.

She has said that she may reveal what happened in the years to come, when she's ready.

Of course, the Austrian police force is politicized, and its highest officers are nominated by the party in power. But I believe the decision not to release information was out of respect for Natascha. If the abuse was on the scale you speak of, then of course, the people should have been taken into custody. I have no doubt they are being kept a watch on, and I always wondered why we never heard any more from Holzappel (?) Priklopil's best friend who helped him escape on the day Natascha fled.

There was also talk at the time that Priklopil's circle had frequented S&M bars in Austria. I think everyone knew what had gone on, but no-one dared to speak its name.

Interesting. Thanks for that.
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Re: Police Corruption & Incompetence in the Kampusch Case

Postby AliBarbour » Thu Apr 17, 2008 3:08 pm

Your theory that the DVDs were not made public out of respect for Natascha is highly unlikely in my opinion. I know of no other case where charges against someone for the rape of a minor were not pursued out of respect for the victim - if anything NOT pressing charges would show a complete lack of respect - for the victim and for the justice system as a whole.

Stinks to high heaven this, especially when you consider that, 6 weeks after her kidnap the police conveniently lost a statement by a police dog handler that mentioned the name and address of her kidnapper.
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Re: Police Corruption & Incompetence in the Kampusch Case

Postby lovemedo » Thu Apr 17, 2008 6:53 pm

I remember a woman officer leaked she found condoms in priklopil's bedroom and that the bed was made for two. she was silenced, maybe booted out.

they could have found her....early on. would have saved her from eight years of slavery. unbelievable. very possible though. :evil:
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Re: Police Corruption & Incompetence in the Kampusch Case

Postby DrachenSachen » Mon Apr 21, 2008 3:32 am

Fri, 18 Apr 2008

Austrian kidnap victim 'horrified' over media leaks

Austrian kidnap victim Natascha Kampusch said Friday she was "horrified" over confidential case files leaked to Austrian tabloids. "I am horrified that these confidential files could get to the public. I want a full investigation about who is responsible for this indiscretion," she said in a statement released by the Austrian press agency.

Heute, a newspaper distributed on Vienna's public transport, published intimate details originating from confidential police files.

Oesterreich, a second tabloid, followed suit with other unconfirmed insinuations about Kampusch's years in captivity.

The publication triggered a fierce controversy in Austria over the ethics of journalists. Austrian media organizations slammed the detailed reports by the tabloids saying they violated her right to privacy.

Kampusch said the coverage was a "low point in Austrian journalism." Her private affairs were nobody's business unless they were part of the police investigation.

The 19-year-old was kidnapped on her way to school in 1998 and kept in a basement dungeon until she managed to flee her kidnapper in August 2006.

Wolfgang Priklopil, a 44-year-old technician who had kidnapped the girl, committed suicide shortly after her escape.

Kampusch's statement again rejected theories raised in Friday's news report that Priklopil had helpers.

The police protocols, which had been withheld to protect Kampusch's privacy, seemed to have made their way into the public domain in the course of a parliamentary inquiry into possible investigation mistakes and ensuing cover-up attempts by Austrian police.

The scandal was triggered after allegations by a former high- ranking police official who said the interior ministry had made grave mistakes during the investigation, ignoring information on Kampusch's whereabouts.

Kampusch's lawyers issued litigation threats against media publishing the highly personal details.

The chairman of the investigating committee, Peter Fichtenbauer, ruled out that his inquiry was responsible for the leaks.

Prosecutors have begun an investigation into the disclosures. Some evidence, among them personal items like Kampusch's diary were returned to the young woman after the conclusion of the investigations were concluded.

http://www.earthtimes.org/articles/show ... mmary.html

Interesting to note AliBarbour that the leaks are in the British press with lurid and sensational headlines such as:-

The Sun - Dungeon girl pervs cover-up
The Sun - Cellar girl had romp with perv

It seems the British press have no respect for child abduction victims as long as they aren't middle class Britons of course :wink:
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Re: Police Corruption & Incompetence in the Kampusch Case

Postby AliBarbour » Mon Apr 28, 2008 1:55 pm

What exactly is the point you are trying to make DrachenSachen? Is it the British press's fault that these allegations are in the public domain or could it have something to do with leaks from within the Austrian police and the "highly-respected" German news magazine Stern that chose to bring these leaks to the world's attention?

FYI - I first read about this in the Times newspaper which chose not to use lurid tabloid headlines to tell the story. :wink: 8)
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Re: Police Corruption & Incompetence in the Kampusch Case

Postby DrachenSachen » Tue Apr 29, 2008 12:56 pm

AliBarbour wrote:What exactly is the point you are trying to make DrachenSachen? Is it the British press's fault that these allegations are in the public domain or could it have something to do with leaks from within the Austrian police and the "highly-respected" German news magazine Stern that chose to bring these leaks to the world's attention?

FYI - I first read about this in the Times newspaper which chose not to use lurid tabloid headlines to tell the story. :wink: 8)


What difference does it make now AliBarbour the Austrians have a new, more sensational family incest case to talk about why has completely overshadowed the Kampusch case leaks :wink: I see Sky News have been drooling over this one as its right up their street ain't it?? So much for keeping it in the family, AliBarbour, secrets aren't even safe there anymore are they, thank God? :wink:
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Re: Police Corruption & Incompetence in the Kampusch Case

Postby AliBarbour » Tue Apr 29, 2008 1:45 pm

DrachenSachen, I'm not overly comfortable with you winking at me in relation to these latest terrible revelations in Austria. Once again the point you are trying to make eludes me. You seem to be suggesting that you would prefer that the press were not covering this turn of events...? But seeing as how you brought it up, perhaps you might find the following article interesting (it seems that turning a blind eye to terrible child abuse is in danger of becoming something of an Austrian characterstic):

http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/news/w ... 835616.ece


From The TimesApril 29, 2008

Austria: 'We have to ask what's going wrong'Roger Boyes in Vienna
Sex assault conviction | Psychological damage | Graphic: house of horrors | Health implications | Blog reaction | Alpha Mummy: Is there one small hope? | Factfile | Why are child abuse scandals happening in Austria?

The blue and yellow tourist board posters are supposed to conjure up a charming Sound of Music idyll:

"Austria ' holiday with friends!" or "Austria ' countryside with passion".

It is a country, in short, that prides itself on its mountain air and sunshine, not the musty smell of a windowless home-made dungeon.


But we should save our pity for the 18-year-old youth and his two siblings found in the cellar at the weekend, who had never been to school, never seen daylight and never drank in the mountain air. The three F children, aged between 5 and 19, were trapped in the home by a tyrannical man who was both their father and their grandfather.

The two teenagers have not only been robbed of their childhood by a crime so macabre that it is being described as the crime of the century, but, with their younger brother, have been let down by the Austrian state.

Austria is ' as is clear from the appalling F family saga, from the case of the "girl in the cellar" Natascha Kampusch and from the 1996 case of Maria K, who was locked in a coffin-like wooden chest ' a "look-away" society.

Perhaps the travel posters tell part of the story. It is in the nature of Alpine geography that some villages are sunny, while elsewhere in the valley there are communities that grow up in the shadow of the mountains. These places are invariably cold and cheerless; young people leave and tourism trickles away.

Only this time the darkness envelops a small town fringed by orchards and vineyards in Lower Austria.

It is here that three children, abused and born of an incestuous relationship, went to school and were treated as future upstanding Austrian citizens. Their three siblings and their mother appeared to vanish from the face of the Earth.

What society would accept the probability of three children being left on the doorstep of Josef F over a decade and grant him adoption rights without inquiring after the location of the mother? Perhaps only a cosy, incurious community concerned with Schein nicht Sein, or "appearance, not reality".

"How is it possible that nobody heard or saw anything, that nobody asked questions?" asked Petra Stuiber, columnist of Der Standard in Vienna.

"What does this say about neighbours and the extended family, acquaintances and above all civil servants dealing with the family?

"A whole country," she reflects, "has to ask itself what is going fundamentally wrong."

Colonel Franz Polzer, head of the police investigation team, is also puzzled. Over decades Mr F acquired food and baby clothes for people who did not officially exist. Why did no one notice?

Still, the detective was right to brush off a suggestion yesterday that the F tragedy was a specifically an Austrian crime. After all, Marc Dutroux, a Belgian, held schoolgirls captive in his cellar and abused them. Germany has had its cannibal and countless cases of infanticide. There is no monopoly on cruelty.

But Austria is a society that nurtures its secrets, that suppresses its history, that blocks out uncomfortable biographies.

There is a consensus mentality, an aversion ' as the sociologist Ralf Dahrendorf once said of the Germans ' to open conflict, that has reached almost neurotic proportions.

It locks out whistle-blowers and malcontents as surely as Mr F locked up his daughter and children/grandchildren. Perhaps there is something Habsburgian about this; an echo, too, of Sigmund Freud's Vienna.

The tone politically was set in the 1920s by the feuding Austro-Marxists, national and Christian socialists, and then in the 1930s by the sense of relief ' enthusiasm even ' felt by many Austrians when Nazi Germany incorporated Austria into the Third Reich. The ignoble fact is that 40 per cent of the staff and three quarters of the commandants of concentration camps were of Austrian origin. It was Austrians largely who organised the deportation of the Jews: 80 per cent of the staff of Adolf Eichmann, the logistics planner of the Holocaust, were from Austria.

After the war many Nazis were swallowed up into democratic party structure. Heinrich Gross, who supervised experiments on child euthanasia victims, joined the Nazi party in 1932, the post-war Social Democrats in 1950 and for decades had a seamless career as a neurologist and expert witness in hundreds of court cases. Far longer than in Germany, Waffen SS veterans met to chat about old times. The central question for post-war Germans has been: how many facts do I need to know about my father to know myself? It is a good question, rarely posed in Austria.

It would be wrong, of course, to see a Nazi lurking behind every floral patterned sofa in provincial Austria. But a cod psychologist might draw the conclusion that 73-year-old Mr F, whose early childhood was spent in Nazi Austria, came to accept certain patterns of behaviour.

His daughter was perhaps seen as wayward, in need of discipline. He devised the ultimate punishment ' the impossibility of escape.

Whatever the truth in the Amstetten house, it is the interlocking circles of secrecy that make Austria special in the way that it deals with, or ignores, individual tragedies.

The power networks are closer, more intense, spread over generations and professions. Sometimes they mask corruption, more often they mask inefficiency.

This month a tabloid newspaper, Heute, released intimate details about the sex life of the kidnap victim Natascha Kampusch ' quoting directly from confidential police transcripts. One article even ransacked the transcript of a conversation between Ms Kampusch and her doctor, unthinkable even in the more robust Anglo-American school of journalism. The leak seemed to come from a parliamentary committee.

The subsequent arguments have been revealing. One conservative politician blames a colleague from the Green Party, declaring that "giving him secrets is like putting sausages in front of a dog". His outrage was not so much about the betrayal of medical information as the surrendering of secrets that form part of the membership of the political caste.

Every Austrian town has its hierarchies and codes. Did leaving Mr F in peace form part of this code of discretion? It is difficult to believe that he acted without the knowledge of others. Either way, his crime was made possible by a society that is inclined to look away rather than experience discomfort.
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