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Last Updated: Monday, 29 December, 2003, 16:19 GMT
Cannibal is not sick says doctor
Armin Meiwes
Meiwes ate human flesh to kick-start his emotions, Dr Wilmer said
A self-confessed German cannibal on trial for killing and eating a man he met via the internet is not mentally ill, a psychiatrist has testified.

Heinrich Wilmer said the cannibal, Armin Meiwes, had a personality disorder but did not need to be kept in a psychiatric hospital.

Prosecutors accuse Mr Meiwes of murder, though they accept that the man he killed and ate was a willing victim.

Mr Meiwes' lawyers say he was guilty at worst of "killing on demand".

While murder carries a life sentence, the lesser charge - brought in cases of "mercy killing" - is punishable by up to five years in prison.

Abandoned by father

Prosecutors say Mr Meiwes, a 42-year-old computer technician, killed and ate engineer Bernd-Juergen Brandes in 2001 for sexual gratification.

Meiwes was thinking more of himself during the act - he was fulfilling a dream
Dr Heinrich Wilmer
Dr Wilmer said his motivation was less sexual than the fulfilment of an urge caused by the fact that his father abandoned him, and the rest of his family, when he was young.

But he added: "Meiwes was thinking more of himself during the act... He was fulfilling a dream."

He said the defendant placed his first advertisements for a victim out of a mixture of "farce and madness" but soon became deadly serious.

He told the court in Kassel that Mr Meiwes was immature and lacked self-control, and that eating human flesh served as a "kick" to stimulate his emotions.

Fiancee's testimony

He said Mr Meiwes' reaction to his murder trial, and the associated media coverage, was "like a child excited by Father Christmas.

It was like sitting opposite a scientist who is conducting an experiment
Dr Wilmer on listening to Meiwes talk
But he noted that the defendant had showed little emotion when talking about the killing.

"It was like sitting opposite a scientist who is conducting an experiment," he said.

He declined to comment on whether he believed Mr Meiwes might reoffend.

Judges also heard testimony behind closed doors on Monday from Mr Meiwes former fiancee.

Mr Meiwes' lawyer, Harald Ermel, told reporters that his client was now involved in a new relationship.

Police tracked down and arrested Mr Meiwes in December 2002 after being alerted to an advertisement he had placed on the internet for a man willing to be killed, carved up and eaten.

He went on trial on 3 December and confessed in detail to the killing of Mr Brandes on 10 March 2001.

He filmed much of the event on video, parts of which were shown to the court earlier this month.

Cannibal 'sought other victims'
08 Dec 03  |  Europe
German cannibal tells of fantasy
03 Dec 03  |  Europe
Cannibalism: A modern taboo
02 Dec 03  |  Europe

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