German cannibal tries to justify his 'slaughter and consumption' murder

A German federal court said Friday it has rejected an appeal by a man who admitted killing and eating an acquaintance he met on the Internet against his murder conviction.

Armin Meiwes, a computer technician, was sentenced in May to life in prison after being retried and convicted for murder in a case that both fascinated and appalled Germany.

In his appeal to the Federal Court of Justice, Meiwes argued that the death of Bernd Juergen Brandes should be classified as a mercy killing.

The court "rejected the appeal ... as clearly unfounded," according to a statement Friday.

It noted that Meiwes' life sentence meant he could be released after 15 years at the earliest "and then only if he is no longer dangerous."

Meiwes has said that Brandes traveled from Berlin in 2001 after answering his Internet posting under the pseudonym "Franky" seeking a young man for "slaughter and consumption." He said Brandes wanted to be stabbed to death after drinking a bottle of cold medicine to lose consciousness. Meiwes captured the killing on video.

Police tracked down and arrested Meiwes in December 2002 after a student in Austria alerted them to a message Meiwes had posted on the Internet seeking a man willing to be killed and eaten.

In early 2004, a court in the city of Kassel convicted Meiwes of manslaughter and sentenced him to 8 1/2 years in prison, but prosecutors appealed the verdict, reports AP.

Federal judges overturned that ruling and ordered a retrial, arguing that the lower court, in rejecting murder charges, failed to give sufficient consideration to the sexual motive behind the killing, reports AP.

Announcing the verdict after the retrial in a Frankfurt court, presiding judge Klaus Drescher last year described the killing as "a particularly perverse murder."

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