German cannibal says eating human flesh 'legal'

17th January 2006, Comments 0 comments

17 January 2006, FRANKFURT - A German cannibal, who admits killing and eating a man five years ago, insisted in court Tuesday that eating human flesh was legal.

17 January 2006

FRANKFURT - A German cannibal, who admits killing and eating a man five years ago, insisted in court Tuesday that eating human flesh was legal.

"It's a taboo but it's not banned," said Armin Meiwes, 44, at a re-trial in Frankfurt where prosecutors are seeking to upgrade his manslaughter conviction with eight and a half years' jail into a murder verdict and life imprisonment.

Earlier this week Meiwes said he had hoped that the victim - Bernd Juergen Brandes who was 43 - would "die all by himself" after having been castrated or maybe would "jump out the window".

But he admitted to the court that Brandes had fallen unconscious nine hours after being mutilated and was then killed.

The case is being retried after an appeals court ruled the act had many hallmarks of a murder, regardless of evidence that Brandes volunteered to take part in it.

After butchering the remains, Meiwes said he cooked and ate about 20 kilos of the human flesh.

Meiwes told the court he had been worried about getting HIV/AIDS from eating the meat from Brandes' corpse despite the fact that the two men had earlier had unprotected sex together.

The killing was not carried out for sexual gratification as the prosecutors maintain, insists Meiwes. He asserts his main interest was in cutting a man to pieces and eating him, not killing.

Meiwes had told the court he had met Brandes, who was a Berlin engineer, via the internet after advertising for a "slaughter victim", he said Brandes had repeatedly told him he must carry out his plan.

Brandes had written in one mail, "I hope you are taking this seriously, because I really want it." According to Meiwes, the two men met for the first time when Brandes arrived on March 9, 2000 at the railway station in Kassel near Meiwes' country home.

He said Brandes' instructions were that he was to be killed once he became unconscious. The defendant said he had prayed for God's forgiveness for himself and his victim just before cutting Brandes' throat that night.

DPA

Subject: German news

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