German court rejects early release for cannibal case convict

BERLIN (AP) — A German court ruled Friday that a man serving a life sentence for killing and eating an acquaintance in a case that appalled the country in the early 2000s can’t be released early.

Armin Meiwes, who was convicted of murder and disturbing the peace of the dead, is serving a life sentence in prison. It is customary in Germany for people sentenced to life to be released after serving 15 years. But a court in Kassel rejected his release, and the Frankfurt state court said it has now rejected Meiwes’ appeal.

It said judges had correctly determined with advice from experts that there is “currently no favorable outlook” for his future behavior.

Meiwes was arrested in December 2002 over the death the previous year of Bernd Juergen Brandes. He has said that Brandes answered his internet posting seeking a young man for “slaughter and consumption” and that Brandes wanted to be stabbed to death after drinking a bottle of cold medicine to lose consciousness. Meiwes captured the killing on video.

In 2004, Meiwes was convicted of manslaughter and sentenced 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.

He was convicted of murder and given a life sentence at a retrial in 2006.