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Cannibal sought a second helping

Associated press, USA
Dec. 9, 2003 • Tuesday December 9, 2003

KASSEL, Germany –A German computer expert who has confessed to killing an Internet acquaintance and eating his flesh testified at his murder trial yesterday that he subsequently sought more volunteers to share the same fate.

Armin Meiwes, 42, told the state court in the central city of Kassel that he looked for willing victims through Internet ads and chat rooms after the March 2001 killing of 43-year-old engineer Bernd Juergen Brandes at his home.

He testified that he had e-mail contact with a person using the pseudonym “Albineu” who had volunteered to be killed.

Meiwes went on trial last Wednesday, offering a detailed confession.

His victim, he testified, said he wanted to be stabbed to death after drinking a bottle of cold medicine to lose consciousness.

The defendant has said he stabbed Brandes the next morning, believing he was already dead, and recorded his act on a videotape.

He said yesterday he had been “disappointed” in some aspects, telling the court that “Bernd was not 36, as he claimed” and hadn’t wanted to spend more time getting to know him. After Meiwes finished testifying, the five-judge panel shut the public out of the courtroom as it viewed excerpts from the tape.

Prosecutors say the killing was sexually motivated and filed murder charges, despite concluding that the killing had the victim’s consent.

Meiwes could face a maximum sentence of life in prison if convicted.

Meiwes’s lawyer argued that the slaying was instead a form of mercy killing — which would carry a maximum five-year sentence.

A verdict is expected in February.

Police tracked down and arrested Meiwes last December after a student in Austria alerted them to an advertisement Meiwes had placed on the Internet seeking a man willing to be killed and eaten.

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