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CRIME

‘Cannibal cop’ gets 8-year sentence

A court sentenced a German former police officer to eight years and six months in jail Wednesday for killing a willing victim he met on a website for cannibalism fetishists.

'Cannibal cop' gets 8-year sentence
Defendant Detlev Günzel at the court in Dresden on Wednesday. Photo: DPA

"He was found guilty of murder and disturbing the peace of the dead," said presiding judge Birgit Wiegand at the regional court in the eastern city of Dresden.

Detlev Günzel, 57, went on trial in August over the killing of Polish-born Wojciech Stempniewicz, a business consultant, at the defendant's home, a bed-and-breakfast inn in the mountain town of Hartmannsdorf-Reichenau near the Czech border, in November 2013.

The defendant sat impassively with arms folded as the verdict was read out.

The court had heard that the accused had cut the body into small pieces and buried them in his garden but there was no evidence that he ate any part of his victim.

State attorneys had sought 10 and a half years in prison for the defendant, a trim, soft-spoken father of three adult children whom neighbours described as friendly, generous and unfailingly polite.

Lawyers representing the family of Stempniewicz, 59, had requested a 15-year sentence, usually the maximum in a murder case.
But prosecutors said they stopped short of this demand because Stempniewicz said he wanted to die.

The men came across each other in October 2013 on a website for slaughter and cannibalism fantasies billed as the "#1 site for exotic meat" and boasting more than 3,000 registered members.

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ANTI-SEMITISM

Police deployed at German synagogue after bullet holes found

German police staged a major deployment at a synagogue in the western city of Essen on Friday after several bullet holes were found in the adjacent former rabbi's residence.

Police deployed at German synagogue after bullet holes found

Police said “four shots were fired from a loaded weapon” into the exterior of the home next to the city’s Old Synagogue but that no one was injured.

Officers were inspecting the site with sniffer dogs for any explosives.

Justice Minister Marco Buschmann said he was “shocked by this latest attack on Jewish life in Germany”.

“Anti-Semitism must have no place. It is our duty to protect Jewish life,” he tweeted.

Media reports said the shots were fired overnight and reported on Friday morning. They targeted a glass door at the entryway of the residence and two bullets pierced the glass.

State interior minister Herbert Reul told local media that the alleged assailant, a man, had been captured on a security camera but was still at large.

The incident came three years after a gunman killed two people in the eastern city of Halle after failing to storm a synagogue on Yom Kippur.

Before the attack, he had posted a racist, misogynistic and anti-Semitic manifesto online.

Germany in May reported a new record in the number of politically motivated crimes last year, including a nearly 29-percent jump in anti-Semitic crimes to 3,027.

Seven decades after the Holocaust in which the Nazi regime slaughtered six million Jews, the vast majority of the offences — 2,552 — were attributed to the far-right scene.

Essen’s Old Synagogue was built in the early 20th century but its interior was largely destroyed by the Nazis in the November 1938 pogrom.

It underwent a thorough restoration and reopened as an expanded Jewish Culture House for interfaith dialogue in 2010.

READ ALSO: ‘We will fight for our Germany’: Holocaust survivor issues warning to far right

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