German teacher goes on trial in alleged cannibalism case

BERLIN (AP) — A 41-year-old teacher who is accused of having killed another man with the intention of eating him went on trial Tuesday in Germany’s capital.

Prosecutors say the defendant met his victim, a 43-year-old German mechanic, on an online dating site a few hours before the September slaying, the German news agency dpa reported. They said there was no indication the victim agreed to be killed.

The defendant, identified only as Stefan R. for privacy reasons, allegedly chopped up the man’s body in his Berlin apartment and then spread parts of it in different neighborhoods of the city, dpa reported.

Prosecutors were unable to say for certain whether cannibalism had taken place, but parts of the victim’s body were never found, the German news site Der Spiegel reported.

Police spent weeks looking for the missing mechanic before some bones were found in a forest in northern Berlin and a suspect was tracked down with the help of sniffer dogs.

The trial at a Berlin state court, which is expected to last until mid-October, is not the first of its kind in Germany.

In 2006, a German court convicted Armin Meiwes of murder and disturbing the peace for killing and eating a man he had met online. Meiwes is currently serving a life sentence.

A German police officer was convicted of murder in 2015 for killing a man he met in an internet chat forum devoted to cannibalism. Prosecutors said the victim had fantasized about being eaten, but there was no evidence the suspect actually did so.

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