8 December 2003
KASSEL – A self-declared cannibal told a German court on the second day of his murder trial he regarded the killing of his victim as a form of euthanasia.
Denying the charge of murder, 42-year-old Armin Meiwes told the court in Kassel: “I regarded the killing as an act of support, as euthanasia, as aiding suicide.
“That is taboo and that is why I have to justify myself to God and the whole world.”
He admitted killing and eating a 43-year-old engineer from Berlin he had met over the internet. He denied it was murder, saying his victim had wanted to be killed and was aware of his fate.
Meiwes said at the time of his arrest last December he was looking for new victims. An e-mail to a friend read: “I hope I can find a new victim soon, the meat is almost all gone.”
He had hoped he and his intended new victim would be able to join him in eating the remains of the old victim.
Meiwes said he now realized that “if I had visited a psychologist a few years earlier it would not have gone this far”.
The court was set later in the day to view video tapes showing how Meiwes killed, cut up and ate his victim.
The public and media will be barred from the courtroom for the viewing of the tapes which reports said would be seen by 12 people – three judges, three jury members, three specialists, the prosecuting and defence lawyers and the accused.
Meiwes had filmed the killing and butchering of his victim in March 2001.
With cannibalism not legally a criminal offence in Germany, Meiwes is charged with murder “for sexual satisfaction” and “disturbing the peace of the dead” by butchering the corpse. He could be jailed for life.
His defence is pressing for a lesser charge of “killing on demand” which carries a maximum five-year jail sentence.
Subject: German news