Germany's highest court has thrown out an appeal by a man who admitted killing and eating an acquaintance.

The Federal Constitutional Court said Friday that it saw no reason to fault the 2006 retrial in which Armin Meiwes was convicted of murder and sentenced to life in prison in a case that both fascinated and appalled Germany.

Meiwes had argued that the death in 2001 of Bernd Juergen Brandes should be classified as a mercy killing and maintained that his sentence was disproportionate.

Meiwes has said that Brandes answered his Internet posting seeking a young man for "slaughter and consumption."

He said Brandes wanted to be stabbed to death after drinking a bottle of cold medicine to lose consciousness. Meiwes captured the killing on video.

The high court ruling, which a court statement said was made on Oct. 7, follows a legal saga that has dragged on since Meiwes was arrested in December 2002.

In early 2004, a court in the city of Kassel convicted Meiwes of manslaughter and sentenced him to 8 1/2 years in prison, but prosecutors appealed the verdict.

Federal judges overturned that ruling and ordered a retrial, arguing that the lower court, in rejecting murder charges, failed to give sufficient consideration to the sexual motive behind the killing.