Police in hot water as MP reveals Kampusch interview protocols

Leaked Natascha Kampusch police interview protocols seem to confirm that authorities attempted to cover up police blunders.Greens MP Peter Pilz, who published police documents regarding the abduction of Kampusch, said the top secret information was evidence of a scandal involving police and high-ranking politicians.The documents seem to confirm previous speculations that investigators failed to follow up on statements made by a police dog squad leader made in April 1998 – one month after Kampusch was snatched by Wolfgang Priklopil on her way to school.The officer described the kidnapper as a “loner with a sexual tendency towards young children” driving a white van, but Priklopil – who underwent a traffic check weeks after the kidnapping – escaped due to inefficient investigations.Reports have it that late People’s Party (ÖVP) Interior Minister Liese Prokop managed to prevent police errors from leaking to the public eight years later as a general election was due.Documents released by Pilz earlier this week reveal that two policemen visited the canine squad officer in August 2006 and asked him to keep quiet about his tip-offs made in 1998 that police had failed to follow up on.Files documenting interview sessions police held with Kampusch after she had escaped in 2006 presented by the MP show that Priklopil told the girl immediately after dragging her into his car that she would be free “today or tomorrow” if her parents paid up.The protocols also reveal that Kampusch not only went skiing with Priklopil but also asked to help him renovate a Vienna flat he owned.The documents show Kampusch successfully escaped Priklopil’s estate in Strasshof an der Nordbahn, Lower Austria, while he had his best pal Ernst Holzapfel on the phone.”He received many calls at that time as he wanted to rent out his apartment in Vienna. He asked me to hoover the white van that day. I saw that the garden door was open and just started to run until I saw a woman in the kitchen of a house. I asked her to call the police,” Kampusch, 21, said, according to tabloid Österreich.Pilz criticised police for failing to follow up on hints Priklopil had not acted on his own after Kampusch had recognised his mother Waltraud and Holzapfel in pictures presented to her during interview sessions held shortly after she fled.Reports have it that Kampusch could receive up to half a million Euros in compensation if she sues the state over alleged investigation blunders.Holzapfel is due in court in Vienna on Monday (30 August) on charges of complicity in suicide.Holzapfel told police earlier this year that Priklopil had called him up on the day Kampusch escaped his clutches, telling him he was “in trouble”. The pervert – a close business partner of Holzapfel – initially claimed he had drunkenly sped off as police had wanted to stop him in a random traffic check before he made a full confession of his crime.Holzapfel said: “I tried to calm him down by talking business and eventually appealed to him to turn himself in. I knew him as a serious person, so I was convinced he would do so.”Priklopil killed himself hours later by jumping in front of a train.Kampusch caused some controversy last week by stressing she would not provide any autographs during the presentation of her autobiography “3,096 Tage” (3,096 Days) at a Thalia bookstore in Vienna on 9 September.Michaela Bokon, manager of the shop in Landstraße district, also said Kampusch had informed her she would not answer any questions posed by fans. Bokon added that she hired security personnel as hundreds were expected to turn up.Kampusch – who bought her kidnapper’s house and BMW sports car – has been living a secluded life in Vienna after her TV chat show “Natascha Kampusch trifft…” flopped on private channel Puls 4.German Bernd Eichinger announced earlier this year that his plan to turn her life into a film had received Kampusch’s backing.Hollywood stars Kate Winslet and Dakota Fanning are tipped as candidates for the movie’s lead role, while Christoph Waltz (“Inglourious Basterds”) and Karl Markovics (“The Counterfeiters”) are often mentioned when it comes to who may play Priklopil in the movie set for a 2012 release.