Austria kidnap girl asks for time

Natascha Kampusch is escorted by police in Deutsch Wagram, north of Vienna, on Wednesday
No picture of Natascha Kampusch aged 18 has been released

An Austrian teenager recovering from an eight-year ordeal in an underground cell has said she needs time before she can tell her story.

"Give me time until I can tell my story myself," Natascha Kampusch said in a statement read by her psychiatrist.

She said she understood the media "curiosity" about her life with the kidnapper, but insisted that she would not answer intimate questions.

She said she and her captor had eaten meals and watched TV together.

The kidnapper, Wolfgang Priklopil, killed himself by jumping in front of a train after her escape last week.

In her statement quoted on Monday, Ms Kampusch, 18, said Priklopil "was not my lord, although he wanted to be - I was just as strong".

She said he was "part of my life, that's why in a certain way I'm mourning him".

She is at a secure location with psychological carers, and police say she has not asked to see her parents again after a brief reunion.

Mother frustrated

In her statement on Monday, she said she realised "how shocking and worrying" her experience must seem to people.

Natascha Kampusch, an Austrian schoolgirl who disappeared in 1998

But she said she did not feel that Priklopil had robbed her of her childhood.

Together they had furnished her room "adequately" soon after he had abducted her, Ms Kampusch said.

Her mother Brigitta Sirny has pleaded to be allowed to see her. She asked in a newspaper interview on Sunday: "Why can I not see my child?"

Ms Kampusch is reported to have wept inconsolably when she was told the man she had to call "master" was dead.

Police suspect she may have been suffering from "Stockholm Syndrome" - a condition where some abductees gradually begin to sympathise with their captors.

Her parents, who separated after her abduction, have complained that they have not been told where she is staying.

Suspected kidnapper Wolfgang Priklopil (pic: Austrian police)
Wolfgang Priklopil was a 44-year-old telecoms technician
Austrian police officer Gerhard Lang said the police were not banning contact with Ms Kampusch.

He said she had voluntarily gone to a "safe place" to receive psychological care and protection.

Ms Kampusch, said to be pale and to weigh less than she did as a 10-year-old, managed to flee her abductor on Wednesday after he moved away to take a phone call as she vacuumed his car, it has emerged.

Priklopil threw himself under a train within hours of her escape.

Photos released by police show the underground hiding place in his house, in Strasshof village outside Vienna, where he had purportedly kept her.

The pictures show a small, cluttered, windowless room with wash basin, toilet, bed and cupboards and narrow concrete stairs leading up to a trapdoor.

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