Natascha Kampusch's mother accused of masterminding her kidnap
The mother of Austrian Natascha Kampusch, who was held in a dungeon for more than eight years before escaping, has been accused of masterminding her ordeal.
Retired judge Martin Wabl told the State Court in Graz, Austria, that Ms Kampusch's mother Brigitte Sirny hatched the plot with Wolfgang Priklopil, the Daily Mail reported.
Priklopil held Ms Kampusch captive and committed suicide hours after she escaped in 2006.
Mr Wabl said Mrs Sirny had wanted to cover up the sexual abuse of her daughter when she was ten.
He made similar allegations after Ms Kampusch's disappearance in 1998 but was fined for defamation, the paper said. He had now returned to court to have his criminal record erased.
Witnesses told the court Mrs Sirny had known Priklopil well with one saying she often hit her daughter.
Neighbour Anneliese Glaser, who also worked at a delicatessen owned by Mrs Sirny, said Mrs Sirny had little time for her daughter, the paper said.
"I never saw her abuse the child but she would come to me often and the red fingerprints of Sirny would be clearly visible in her face where she hit her," she told the court.
"When Natascha resurfaced in 2006, I saw the picture of Priklopil and I recognised him instantly. He was at her shop with another man when I was there repairing the electrics."
Ms Kampusch disappeared on her way to school in March 1998.
Shortly after her disappearance, a Vienna newspaper published photographs found in Mrs Sirny's flat that showed Ms Kampusch wearing lipstick and riding boots, brandishing a whip and showing her private parts.
Mrs Sirny dismissed the photographs as "harmless horseplay", although a psychiatrist described them as "highly sexually charged and taken for the sexual delectation of the person behind the camera" , the paper said.
No charges were ever brought against Mrs Sirny.
Ms Kampusch testified for 30 minutes in a closed courtroom due to the sexual nature of the evidence. She refused to answer questions from reporters outside the court, the paper said.
Judge Juergen Schweiger has said she was not sexually abused as a child. He will deliver a written verdict in a fortnight, the paper said.