Eurolines staff explained in interviews on Monday that they do not always request ID from passengers who pay cash and are travelling to anywhere in the European Union except Britain. Because France and Germany are both in the Schengen Zone, there are no border checks between the countries.
Staff said it appeared that Mr. Magnotta had boarded a bus at 7:30 p.m. Sunday, and arrived in Berlin at 9:30 a.m. Monday. He was noticed en route by a fellow passenger who alerted German police, but by then he was aboard a U-Bahn train, headed toward a grotty stretch of Karl-Marx-Strasse, near the former location of the Berlin Wall.
“This would be a good neighbourhood to hide, because it’s full of unusual-looking guys who are just hanging around and only here temporarily,” said Okan Bilge, a 38-year-old man who works at an eyeglasses shop nearby and said he watched the arrest. “There are a lot of Turkish immigrants and a lot of gay tourists here, so people feel anonymous – but they’re really being watched closely.”
Clean-shaven and wearing jeans, sunglasses and a black jacket with a hood, Mr. Magnotta walked into the Internet Spaetkauf Helin at around 11:45 a.m. Monday and asked to use a computer.
He looked familiar to café owner Mr. Sungur and worker Kader Anlayisli. The Canadian murder suspect’s pictures had been all over the German media and were appearing frequently on TV that morning.
Staff at the café noticed Mr. Magnotta was looking at porn. He also appeared to be checking out articles about himself and the international manhunt under way to find him. “We thought he looked familiar, but we couldn’t be sure,” Mr. Sungur said. “In person, he looked a little different.”
Mr. Sungur and his worker took to the Internet themselves to check. Once they were fairly certain of his identity, Mr. Anlayisli ran outside to flag down the police, who often patrol Neukoelln.
Around 1:30 p.m., with Mr. Magnotta still surfing online, seven police officers stormed into the café and quickly overpowered the slender Mr. Magnotta. He tried to give police a false name, but the officers weren’t buying it, Captain Guido Busch of the Berlin police said.
Mr. Magnotta then gave up the ruse. “You got me,” he said.
His arrest drew expressions of relief in Europe, China and especially in Canada. In Montreal, police Commander Ian Lafrenière said investigators “are extremely relieved and happy” about Mr. Magnotta’s arrest. He is expected to appear before a judge in Germany on Tuesday. It’s unclear how long extradition to Canada will take.
Mr. Magnotta is facing five charges in Montreal, including first-degree murder, causing an indignity to a body, corrupting morals, using the mail system to deliver “obscene, indecent, immoral or scurrilous” material, and harassing Prime Minister Stephen Harper.
Mr. Harper commended police Monday for catching Mr. Magnotta. “Well, I’m obviously pleased that the suspect has been arrested, and I just want to congratulate the police forces on their good work,” the Prime Minister said in London, where he is attending the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee
Interim Liberal Leader Bob Rae told reporters Monday that it is important to remember that Mr. Lin’s family and friends are mourning the death of a young man who was killed under the most terrible of circumstances, and that the exploits of the man suspected of killing him should not be given undue attention. “All of Canada should be in mourning,” Mr. Rae said. “We should be continuing to mourn the person who dies rather than in any way, shape or form celebrate the notoriety of Mr. Magnotta, which I think would be completely wrong for us to do.”
Mr. Lin, who was enrolled in computer science and worked part-time at a convenience store, had been in Canada for about a year. Police say his killing and dismemberment was filmed and posted on Internet gore sites one day before Mr. Magnotta boarded the flight to France. Web viewers mused for days about whether the film was real or not before Mr. Lin’s dismembered body was found and Montreal police began an investigation.
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