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Austrian Fritzl's house should be destroyed: Judge

world Updated: Nov 09, 2010 19:20 IST

The house under which Austrian Josef Fritzl imprisoned and abused his daughter and the children he fathered with her should be reduced to rubble, a provincial judge told a newspaper on Tuesday.

Judge Markus Sonnleitner, who is handling the jailed Fritzl's insolvency, said the grey concrete building in the northern Austrian town of Amstetten was unlikely to fetch a buyer because of its dark history.

"This house should be knocked down. There is a lot of interest in seeing it vanish completely," he told daily Kurier.

He said local authorities were looking at how to proceed, but that the cellar Fritzl built beneath the building should be immediately demolished.

The head of Amstetten's municipal construction department told Kurier the demolition plan could go ahead in theory because no other tenants were living in the house, which is divided into apartments.

Fritzl was sentenced to life imprisonment in March 2009 after a jury found him guilty of murdering one of the incarcerated children through neglect. He had burnt the baby's corpse in a furnace when it died shortly after birth.

He was also found guilty of rape, incest, coercion and enslavement of his daughter Elisabeth, now in her 40s, and of depriving her and three of her children of liberty.

He fathered seven children in total with his daughter during her 24-year imprisonment. Three had been locked up since birth with their mother in a network of underground cells, in parts only 1.7 metres (5 feet 7 inches) high. Police said they had never seen sunlight or received any formal education.

Three other children lived above ground with Fritzl and his wife. The story of his abuse sent shockwaves through Austria and the rest of the world when it was uncovered by chance in April 2008.