Cannibal trial: Porn images found

KASSEL, Germany (AP) — Investigators found hundreds of violent and pornographic images on the computer of a German information technology expert who confessed to killing a man and eating his flesh, an official testified at his murder trial Monday.

“We checked a total of more than 2,000 data files,” Volker Kegel, an officer with Hessen state criminal authorities told the state court in Kassel. The images found, he said, ranged from homosexual pornography to torture.

Prosecutors say the killing was sexually motivated and filed murder charges against Armin Meiwes, 42, despite concluding that the killer had the consent of the victim — whom he met over the Internet.

Meiwes went on trial on December 3 and confessed in detail to the March 2001 killing of 43-year-old engineer Bernd Juergen Brandes at his home. He has told the court that he subsequently looked for further willing victims through Internet ads and chat rooms.

Kegel said investigators found “no indications of further victims” after checking Meiwes’ computer and e-mail.

Still, another investigator, Isolde Stock, testified later that the e-mail evaluation had prompted authorities to pursue legal proceedings against other Internet users.

Prosecutors in Frankfurt, Stock said, are investigating a person who had contact with Meiwes on suspicion of conspiracy to commit on crime. She did not elaborate, and Frankfurt prosecutors refused to comment.

If convicted of murder, Meiwes could face life in prison. But his attorney argues that the death was instead a form of mercy killing, which would carry a maximum five-year sentence.

Police tracked down and arrested Meiwes in December 2002 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.

A verdict in the trial is expected in February.

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