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Appeal over cannibal verdict

Published on 02/02/2004

2 February 2004

KASSEL – Prosecutors in Germany Monday asked a higher court to overturn a manslaughter conviction against self- confessed gay cannibal Armin Meiwes, saying he should be found guilty of murder.

In a controversial verdict that broke new legal ground in Germany, a judge in Kassel on Friday found sentenced Meiwes to eight and a half years in prison on the lesser charge of manslaughter. That would mean he could be eligible fore on parole in four years’ time.

Prosecution attorneys, in filing the appeal, said he should be sentenced to life imprisonment on a murder conviction.

Kassel Judge Volker Muetze, noting that the case is unprecedented in German jurisprudence, described the killer and his victim as “two deeply psychologically disturbed people who both wanted something from the other”.

The prosecution had demanded a life sentence because Meiwes freely admitted he had killed, dismembered and partially devoured his victim, Bernd-Juergen Brandes, at Meiwes’ rambling half-timbered farm house in the picturesque nearby village of Rotenburg in March 2001.

The defence, seeking acquittal or at most five years in prison, insisted he was guilty of nothing more than “assisted suicide” because Brandes was a masochist with a castration and mutilation fetish.

Chief defence attorney Harald Ermel said he was pleased with the verdict.

“He’ll be out by mid-2008,” Ermel said of his client. “Meiwes will most assuredly not be a repeat offender. He has cooperated with law- enforcement officials from the start and is fully aware of the ramifications of this crime. He has agreed to undergo psycho- analysis.”

Subject: German news