26 January 2004
KASSEL – Promising never to kill again, self-confessed gay cannibal Armin Meiwes nonetheless told a court in Germany Monday his victim had begged to be “slaughtered” and that he had given him a “nice and worthy death”.
“I’m very sorry for what I’ve done,” the 42-year-old defendant told the court in Kassel as the headline-grabbing case entered its phase of final arguments. “It is something I would never do again.”
Addressing the court in one last statement, a tight-lipped but otherwise unmoved Meiwes stressed that he had only given victim Bernd-Juergen Brandes what he had asked for.
“I want the court to understand that I only did what I did because he expressly wanted me to do it,” Meiwes said. “And in doing so I gave him a nice and worthy death.”
As he has from the outset, Meiwes in no way disclaimed responsibility for the March 2001 killing, clearly hoping for imprisonment with chance of parole – as opposed to being shut away forever in a mental institution.
Asking the court for a conviction and life imprisonment, chief prosecution attorney Marcus Koehler said Monday the 42-year-old defendant had wilfully and with premeditation killed, dismembered and partially devoured his victim, Bernd-Juergen Brandes, at Meiwes’ home in March 2001.
The prosecution wrapped up its case Monday before the court in Kassel after a psychiatrist testified Friday that Meiwes, while criminally perverted, is legally sane – bolstering the defence’s hopes that he will one day be a free man again.
Dr. Georg Stolpmann said Meiwes suffered from a serious psychological abnormality, but he was responsible for his actions in the legal sense of sanity.
The psychiatrist’s view concurred with that of a sexologist who had earlier testified at the trial. Their expert evidence is likely to mean that Meiwes will not be found insane and locked in a mental hospital, but can be judged under the regular criminal code.
Meiwes claims Brandes, a Berlin computer engineer, requested to be castrated, killed and eaten. He is accused of murder for sexual gratification.
His defence attorneys have avoided arguing insanity for fear that Meiwes might be committed to a mental institution for the rest of his life. But because Germany has no death sentence, a murder conviction would ultimately allow Meiwes to go free one day.
Stolpmann said he thoroughly agreed with the earlier expert witness, sexologist Klaus Beier, who said Meiwes does not need to be committed to an institution, but instead is competent to face conviction and incarceration.
Even so, Stolpmann challenged the defendant’s credibility. He said Meiwes suffered from delusions of megalomania. He wanted power over people, and not just the “ultimate intimacy” of ingesting people.
Stolpmann said Meiwes is highly manipulative, using outward charm to persuade others into bowing to his will. The killing of Brandes was a conscious act by a sane though perverted mind, he said.
“It was a premeditated, thoroughly planned and meticulously executed act,” Stolpmann testified. “The conscious thought processes of this man’s mind were in no way impaired. Meiwes was acutely aware of the legal ramifications of his actions, which is why he placed such importance on getting his victim’s willing consent. Thus, his mental competency is not in question.”
Stolpmann said the defendant had subsequently written to an acquaintance: “It is an incredible feeling to have ultimate power over another man and to slice him up into serving portions.”
“For Meiwes, the goal of all this was what he called “to get the biggest kick of my life’, as he told police after his arrest,” Stolpmann said. “He wanted absolute power over another person and was planning from the start to commit other such crimes.”
Subject: German news