May 3, 2006

Prosecutor wants life sentence for German cannibal

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - Prosecutors at the retrial of a
German cannibal, jailed for eight years for killing a man and
eating his flesh, said on Wednesday he should be jailed for

Armin Meiwes, imprisoned two years ago for killing a
computer engineer who had begged to be eaten, is standing trial
for the second time after Germany's top criminal court ruled
his initial sentence for manslaughter was too lenient.

Prosecution lawyers said Meiwes had killed the man from
Berlin to satisfy his sexual urges and his lust for power.
Meanwhile, defense lawyers said Meiwes, 44, had killed at the
request of the victim, a crime carrying a maximum 5 year prison

The final summing up marks the approaching end of a trial
that captivated people across Germany and even inspired a film.

During the trial, the court heard how Meiwes made contact
with Bernd-Juergen Brandes over the Internet and then met the
43-year-old at his home in the western town of Rotenburg.

Having severed Brandes's penis, both men tried to eat it,
but without success, although Meiwes later ate flesh from the

After heavy bleeding, Brandes finally fell unconscious.
Believing his victim to be dead, Meiwes laid his victim out on
a bench and plunged a knife into his neck while videotaping it.

The prosecution said the act of slaughtering had reduced
the human being to the level of a farmed animal and was not
compatible with human dignity.

Meiwes's defense lawyer Joachim Bremer said there was no
doubt the defendant had acted upon the clear request and under
the instructions of his victim. Brandes even pushed Meiwes to
go through with it, despite the latter's hesitations, Bremer

"You cannot rank this as a murder," he said.

The court is expected to issue its decision next week.