BBC Home
Explore the BBC
BBC News
Launch consoleBBC NEWS CHANNEL
Last Updated: Monday, 16 January 2006, 19:44 GMT
German cannibal 'not a murderer'
Armin Meiwes
Meiwes says he froze body parts and then ate them
A self-confessed cannibal has described how he killed and partially ate a man he met via the internet in March 2001, at a retrial in Germany.

Armin Meiwes was convicted of manslaughter two years ago and was jailed for eight-and-a-half years.

Last year, an appeal court ordered a retrial after state prosecutors argued Meiwes was guilty of murder.

The 44-year-old denies the charge and says he simply carried out a willing victim's instructions.

If found guilty, Meiwes could face a life sentence.

'Killing on request'

Meiwes repeated much of his confession from his first trial during his three-hour testimony.

I didn't know whether I should pray to the devil or to God
Armin Meiwes
He admitted killing 43-year-old German-based computer specialist Bernd-Juergen Brandes at Meiwes' home in the town of Rotenburg.

Meiwes told the court how he severed Mr Brandes' penis and that they both tried to eat it without success.

He said he hoped Mr Brandes would die of blood loss or throw himself to his death from a window.

"I wanted to eat him, but I didn't want to kill him," Meiwes told the court.

Brandes steadily lost more blood and finally became unconscious - at which point Meiwes decided to pray, he said.

"I didn't know whether I should pray to the devil or to God," Meiwes said.

Believing his victim to be dead he stabbed him in the neck, he said. It was only when he saw the video of the crime that he realised Brandes had still been breathing.

Meiwes' legal team argued the defendant was "killing on request", a form of illegal euthanasia that carries a maximum five-year sentence.

Prosecutors will have to show that Meiwes was driven by a base desire of his own to kill his victim.

The case continues.

German cannibal to face retrial
22 Apr 05 |  Europe
Appeal over cannibal verdict
02 Feb 04 |  Europe
Profile: Cannibal Armin Meiwes
30 Jan 04 |  Europe
Murky world of net cannibalism
30 Jan 04 |  Europe

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific