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Germany: Magnotta extradition decision within days

Thursday - 6/7/2012, 11:02pm  ET

BERLIN (AP) - German prosecutors said Thursday a decision on the extradition of the Canadian porn actor suspected of the grisly killing and dismemberment of a Chinese student could be made within days.

Berlin prosecutors asked a court to transfer 29-year-old Luka Rocco Magnotta into pre-extradition custody, spokesman Martin Steltner said.

Magnotta, who was arrested in Berlin on Monday following an international manhunt, is suspected of killing and dismembering student Jun Lin before sending some of his body parts to Canadian political parties and schools.

The decision on the extradition would likely require a "few days" and isn't expected before next week, Steltner said.

Magnotta's extradition could take longer if he chooses to contest the decision, although he previously told police he would not fight it. The German government must also sign off on the extradition, but that step is largely considered a formality.

Magnotta's court-appointed lawyer Evelyn Ascher declined comment Thursday, saying in an email "until further notice I am not able to give any interviews, as there are too many requests."

The murder inquiry was opened last week when Jun Lin's left hand and left foot were mailed to Canada's top political parties. The investigation this week spread to the other end of the country as more body parts were mailed from Montreal to two schools in Vancouver. Those parcels contained a right hand and right foot, and Canadian police said they would conduct DNA tests to confirm a match.

Investigators say Magnotta videotaped the killing and dismemberment in his apartment and posted it online. The video also shows the suspect eating parts of the body, police said. A copy of the video viewed by The Associated Press did not show anyone eating the body, but did show a man using a fork and knife on it. Police suggested they have access to more extensive video of the killing, possibly an unedited version.

Magnotta was caught at an Internet cafe in Berlin after evading police for days while he partied in Paris. Magnotta arrived in Berlin on Saturday on a bus from Paris and stayed with a friend, or someone he met on the Internet, for two nights before he was captured, Steltner said. Investigators in Germany were looking for more information on the person.

Meanwhile, Los Angeles police Cmdr. Andrew Smith said robbery-homicide detectives have been in contact with Canadian authorities about an unsolved murder in the Hollywood Hills earlier this year to see if Magnotta may have been involved. The dismembered head, hands and feet of 66-year-old Hervey Medellin were found in January in a rugged, hillside park.

"Right now we don't believe these two cases are related," Smith said.

Montreal police believe Magnotta has spent time on the West Coast. Cmdr. Denis Mainville, head investigator of the Montreal police major crimes unit, has said investigators will review hundreds of homicide cases over the last 30 years for any possible links to Magnotta. Mainville has said such a review is routine in such cases.

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Associated Press Writer Greg Risling in Los Angeles contributed to this report.


(Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)