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German cannibal trial verdict due

BBC, UK
Jan. 30, 2004
Ray Furlong, BBC correspondent in Kassel
news.bbc.co.uk

ReligionNewsBlog.com • Friday January 30, 2004

The verdict in the trial of self-confessed German cannibal Armin Meiwes is to be delivered on Friday.

Germany’s most sensational trial for decades concerns a man accused of cannibalism, whose victim apparently volunteered to be killed and eaten.

It has both shocked and fascinated Germans.

Mr Meiwes, a 42-year-old computer expert, admits killing and then eating another man three years ago, after placing an advert on the internet.

It was, he told the court, the realisation of a dream he had nurtured ever since having schoolboy fantasies about consuming his classmates.

Despite this, psychologists said he was mentally fit to stand trial.

His victim, Bernd-Juergen Brandes, also in his 40s, bought a one way ticket to the defendant’s home village, and spent an evening with him, before being volunteering to be killed.

The court also saw a grisly home video of Mr Brandes being stabbed to death.

The defence has argued that this was a form of mercy killing which carries a maximum sentence of five years in prison.

But the prosecution has said this cannot apply to this case, because the victim was mentally disturbed. It has demanded a life sentence.

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