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Germany

Second Cannibal Trial Starts in Germany

A German man who killed his gay lover with a screwdriver, dismembered him and kept some of his organs in the fridge to eat later went on trial in Berlin on Tuesday.

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Did he follow the example of confessed cannibal Meiwes (photo)?

Ralf M., 41, is charged with the murder of Joe R., 33, a music teacher from Berlin in a case which has drawn comparisons with a cannibal trial which appalled and fascinated Germany last year.

Joe R.'s torso, legs and arms were discovered in Ralf M.'s apartment and his heart, kidneys, liver and lungs were found in his refrigerator last October.

The prosecution says Ralf M. fed the rest of his victim to his cats.

The two men met through a gay website and agreed to engage in sado-masochistic practices, the prosecution has alleged.

Ralf M. said in his Internet small ad that he was looking for a "svelte man, around 30, for a holiday roast dinner."

Guilty plea likely

A psychiatric assessment of the accused that forms part of the evidence in the case concludes that he is obsessed with butchery as part of a homosexual relationship.

Defense lawyer Detlev Binder said before the trial began that his client was prepared to plead guilty and felt deep shame.

"My client is psychologically very unwell," Binder told Tuesday's Bild newspaper.

Germany was gripped last year by the trial of self-confessed cannibal Armin Meiwes, 43, who was convicted of manslaughter after killing and eating a willing victim.

Meiwes was sentenced to eight and a half years in prison, but a German federal court last month ordered a re-trial because the prosecution is calling for a heavier penalty.

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