Cannibal is 'mentally sound', court hears
January 20, 2004
KASSEL, Germany — A self-confessed gay cannibal is "mentally sound", an expert
witness testified before a court in Germany Monday, shoring up the
defence's hopes that the defendant may one day leave prison as a
A news cameraman films at Armin Meiwes's still denies he committed murder |
Photo: AFP/DDP/Pool/Uwe Zucchi
Sexual behaviouralist psychiatrist Dr. Klaus Beier told the
court in Kassel that 42-year-old defendant Armin Meiwes showed no
signs of mental incapacitation.
"The defendant is mentally sound and has an above-average
intelligence and displays no psychiatric illnesses," Beier
The testimony by the expert witness could help the defence's
contention that Meiwes killed, dismembered and partially devoured a
gay lover with the victim's consent and as an act of "assisted
The defence has actively chosen not to portray Meiwes as
mentally deranged or incompetent. If found to be criminally insane,
Meiwes could be incarcerated at a mental institution the rest of
If, however, he is found guilty of murder, he would go free
after serving his sentence, since there is no death penalty in
Earlier, the court heard testimony describing the defendant as a
"cheerful" and "helpful" work mate.
A former co-worker of 42-year-old defendant Armin Meiwes said
the one-time computer engineer had never displayed any untoward or
unusual behaviour at the information technologies company where
they had both worked in the 1990s.
"Armin was always a very cheerful co-worker, and very helpful,"
the witness told the court. "He always had a ready smile and an
As the case winds down toward an expected ruling on January 30,
Monday's proceedings ushered in a final round of witness testimony.
On Friday a witness told the court that the man Meiwes confesses
having killed had had a "castration fetish" and had begged his sex
partners to mutilate his genitals.
A Berlin male prostitute told the court that the victim, Berlin
computer expert Bernd-Juergen Brandes, had offered him large sums
of money for sexual mutilation.
"He offered to sign over everything he owned if I would consent
to castrate him," the witness told the court in Kassel. "I couldn't
bring myself to do that, of course, and told him he was a very sick
man. But he definitely had a castration fetish."
Meiwes has admitted he killed and partially devoured Brandes in
March 2001. He he and Brandes met via an Internet chat room and
that Brandes wanted to be castrated, killed, slaughtered and eaten.
Friday's testimony contradicted testimony by Brandes' father,
who told the court that his son had displayed no suicidal
tendencies prior to his disappearance in March 201.
Because Germany has no law against cannibalism, Meiwes is
charged with murder "for sexual satisfaction" and "disturbing the
peace of the dead" in the death of Brandes.
His defence is pressing for a lesser charge of "killing on
demand" which carries a maximum five-year jail sentence and is
normally applied in cases of "mercy killing". Meiwes contends his
victim had wanted to be killed and was aware of his fate.
But Brandes' father, taking the witness stand Friday, said his
son had never shown any signs of depression.
That supported earlier testimony by Brandes' last male lover as
saying Brandes was cheerful and showed no signs of depression ahead
of his fateful encounter with Meiwes on March 8, 2001.
"Bernd-Juergen had absolutely no suicidal thoughts and had no
crises or major problems of any kind," testified the witness, who
added that he and Brandes were making plans for their summer
holidays when he suddenly vanished in March.
The court also heard that self-confessed gay cannibal Armin
Meiwes had more than 200 "applicants" expressing wishes for him to
slaughter and devour them.
Meiwes was tracked down and arrested in December 2002 after
police became aware of an advertisement he had placed on the
Internet looking for volunteers willing to be killed and eaten.
Thousands of pornographic pictures depicting acts of violence
and torture were also found at the house near the town of
Rotenburg, south of Kassel. –Sapa-DPA
Related links stories
Cannibal could kill again, German court told [20/01/2004]
Meiwes's parents unaware 'Hansel & Gretel' obsession [19/01/2004]
German cannibal had over 200 'applicants', court told [19/01/2004]
German cannibal victim offered money for penis bite [13/01/2004]