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Kampusch loses bid to ban revealing book

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Kampusch loses bid to ban revealing book
The house where Kampusch was held for eight years. Photo: Priwo/Wikimedia
10:49 CEST+02:00
Austrian Natascha Kampusch has lost her legal battle to prevent a book that reveals she was filmed naked by her kidnapper from being published.

Police-officer-turned-journalist Peter Reichard had published excerpts of the 'The Kidnapping of Natascha Kampusch – the Whole Shameful Truth' in the German newspaper Bild earlier this year.

The book details evidence from video tapes found at the home of Wolfgang Priklopil, the man who snatched Kampusch from a street in Vienna when she was 10 years old and kept her in a cellar in his house in Lower Austria for eight years.

The videos show seemingly mundane shots of birthday parties the kidnapper had organised for Natascha, as well as her doing gymnastic exercises.

They also showed darker scenes, however, where he refers to her as "slave", describes her as fat, and makes her carry out a punishing list of house chores despite her being clearly exhausted.

According to extracts published by Bild, one video showed Natascha at age 12 "naked, undernourished, her ribs visible" being forced to run up and down a staircase.

Reichard had claimed Kampusch had given him permission to publish the book, although she denied this and took him to court to try and seek an injunction against it.

Now the court in Cologne, Germany, has denied the injunction after deciding Kampusch had described similar scenes in her own book. They are “comparable”, the judge had said at a hearing last month.

Reichard had said he had been astounded by the case brought against him by Kampusch and described his book as a “glowing apologia” for her. “The purpose was to free Natascha Kampusch from these eternal conspiracy theories,” he said, quoted in Kleine Zeitung.

Kampusch was ordered by the court to pay the legal fees for the case, which are likely to be high, but was told she can appeal the decision if she wishes.

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