KARLSRUHE, Germany – A German court Friday ordered a retrial for a man convicted last year of killing and eating another man, giving prosecutors a chance to get a tougher sentence than one imposed last year by a lower court.
Armin Meiwes (search) was sentenced by a court in the city of Kassel to 8½ years for manslaughter in the 2001 death of Bernd Juergen Brandes (search), 43. Prosecutors appealing that sentence said he should be given a life sentence for murder.
The Federal Court of Justice overturned the conviction and sent the case to a state court in Frankfurt for retrial. No date was set for the new trial.
Meiwes confessed in the original trial to the March 2001 killing of Brandes at Meiwes' home in Rotenburg (search), but he claimed the victim had agreed to be killed.
He said Brandes traveled from Berlin after answering Meiwes' Internet posting seeking a young man for "slaughter and consumption."
"Bernd came to me of his own free will to end his life," Meiwes said.
However, he said he regretted the killing.
"I had my big kick and I don't need to do it again," he said. "I regret it all very much, but I can't undo it."
Several experts testified that Meiwes was fit to stand trial and was not mentally ill. Prosecutors have painted Meiwes as a butcher who acted simply to "satisfy a sexual impulse."
The federal court, which granted a new trial, rejected another appeal from Meiwes' defense lawyers, who argued the case should be classified a mercy killing on grounds that the victim consented.
In rejecting that defense appeal, the presiding judge said Brandes, rather than initiating the killing himself, had responded to an offer from Meiwes.
A grisly video Meiwes made of the act was shown to the court in Kassel. A doctor testified Brandes died from loss of blood.