Body-parts-in-post murder suspect in German custody

A 29-year-old Canadian porn actor accused of recording a killing and posting the victim’s body parts to the country’s top political parties has been arrested in Germany.

Luka Rocco Magnotta was apprehended yesterday in an internet cafe in Berlin after a person recognised him and alerted police, Berlin police spokeswoman Kerstin Ziesmer said.

The owner of the cafe, in Berlin’s working-class Neukoelln district, said that Magnotta had come in to read news reports about himself when a cafe employee recognised him.

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“A colleague recognised him from his photo, because he’d just read the newspaper,” said the owner.

He said the police happened to be outside at the time, and the employee alerted them and they arrested Magnotta at about 2pm without difficulty.

Berlin police confirmed that the arrest went without incident, saying that Magnotta initially tried giving false names but then conceded “Okay, you got me”.

Magnotta is wanted by Canadian authorities on first-degree murder and other charges. He is suspected of killing Jun Lin – a 33-year-old Chinese university student he dated – and posting Lin’s body parts to Canadian political parties.

Julie Carmichael, a spokeswoman for Canada’s public safety minister, confirmed the arrest. “We expect that the individual responsible for these troubling acts will face the full force of the law,” she said.

The suspect is now being questioned, and will be taken before a judge behind closed doors who will read out the international arrest warrant, Ms Ziesmer said. “He says he is the wanted person,” she added, while cautioning that his identity must still be independently confirmed by German authorities.

Even if Magnotta challenges his extradition, there are not expected to be any major hurdles – such as the possibility he could face the death penalty – to have him returned to Canada, which does not have capital punishment.

Magnotta is believed to have fled to France on 26 May based on evidence police found at his home, and he had been placed on Interpol’s most-wanted list.

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The case began a week ago, when a package containing a foot was opened at the ruling Conservative Party headquarters. A hand was discovered at a postal facility, addressed to the Liberal party of Canada. A torso was found in a suitcase on a rubbish dump in Montreal, outside Magnotta’s apartment building.

Police suspect Magnotta filmed the murder. The video, posted online, shows a man stabbing another man with an ice-pick while the victim lies naked and tied up. The first man later reveals he has slashed the other man’s throat. He also dismembers the corpse and performs sexual acts with it.

A video also shows a man who looks like Magnotta committing violence against kittens.

The video contains at least one photo made available by Montreal police that identified the man as Magnotta.

For two years, animal-rights activists have been looking for a man who tortured and killed cats and posted videos online.

Canadian police said Magnotta’s birth name is Eric Clinton Newman and that he is also known by the name Vladimir Romanov.

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