A German police officer went on trial Friday accused of strangling and chopping up a man he met in an Internet chat forum devoted to cannibalism.
Detlev G., whose last name hasn't been released, is charged with the murder and defilement of a corpse after allegedly killing a 59-year-old businessman from Hannover last November. Prosecutors say the Polish-born victim had fantasized about being eaten, but there was no evidence the suspect actually did so.
G., who worked as a police handwriting expert, denies murder and claims the victim killed himself, according to defence attorney Endrik Wilhelm. He faces a prison sentence of at least 15 years if convicted of murder.
The court in Dresden heard how the 56-year-old met his victim online. Using the pseudonyms "Caligula 31" and "Longpig," they discussed violent sexual fantasies and eventually decided to meet at a guest house the accused ran south of Dresden.
After his arrest last year, G. directed authorities to a number of places around the property where the remains were buried.
German news agency dpa reported that police were able to reconstruct a video that the accused made of the dismemberment, but later deleted, in which the divorced father of two said "I never thought I'd sink so low."
The case has drawn parallels to that of confessed cannibal Armin Meiwes, who was arrested for the killing of an Internet acquaintance more than a decade ago. Meiwes, who captured the killing on video, said his victim answered an Internet posting seeking a young man for "slaughter and consumption."
Meiwes was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison. He argued unsuccessfully to Germany's highest court that the killing should be classified as a mercy killing and maintained that his sentence was disproportionate.