POSTED: 10:53 a.m. HST, Jun 04, 2012
BERLIN >> A 29-year-old Canadian porn actor accused of videotaping a killing and mailing the victim's body parts to the country's top political parties was apprehended Monday in Berlin after an international manhunt, putting up no struggle while conceding to arresting officers: "you got me."
Luka Rocco Magnotta was picked up internet cafe in Berlin after an employee ran outside and flagged down a passing police vehicle, police spokesman Guido Busch said.
The owner of the cafe, in Berlin's working-class Neukoelln district, told The Associated Press that Magnotta had come in to read news reports about himself when one of his employees recognized him.
"A colleague recognized him from his photo, because he'd just read the newspaper," said the owner, who spoke on condition that he not be identified by name.
He said the police happened to be outside at the time, and the employee alerted them and they arrested Magnotta at about 2 p.m. without difficulty.
"Nothing happened, it all went very quietly," he said.
Busch said seven officers entered the cafe and confronted Magnotta.
"He tried at first giving fake names but in the end he just said: 'you got me,'" Busch said. "He didn't resist."
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 mailing 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 brought before a judge behind closed doors who will read out the international arrest warrant later, police spokeswoman Kerstin 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 contests extradition, there are not expected to be any major hurdles to have him returned to Canada. One such factor would be the possibility he could face the death penalty, but Canada does not have capital punishment.
Busch said it will take several days before Magnotta is ready to be extradited, but that he could be returned by the end of the week.
Magnotta is believed to have fled to France on May 26 based on evidence police found at his apartment, and he had been placed on Interpol's most-wanted list.
The case began last Tuesday, when a package containing a severed 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 garbage 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.
An online video also shows a man who looks like Magnotta committing violent acts against kittens. The video contains at least one photo made available by Montreal police that identified the man as Magnotta.
For nearly two years, animal-rights activists have been looking for a man who tortured and killed cats and posted videos of it online.
Police said Magnotta's birth name is Eric Clinton Newman and that he is also known by the name Vladimir Romanov, and they described him as white and 5 feet 8 inches tall (1.78 meters) with blue eyes and black hair.
Rob Gillies contributed to this report from Toronto.