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Crime

Canada seeks swift extradition of murder suspect

Prosecutors in Canada have begun work on securing the extradition of 29-year-old porn actor Luka Magnotta on charges including murder. Magnotta was arrested in Berlin on an Interpol warrant on Monday.

The internet cafe where police detained Canadian murder suspect Luka Rocco Magnotta in Berlin, June 4, 2012.

Festnahme Luka Rocco Magnotta

Canada's justice ministry said late on Monday that it had begun to assemble the necessary paperwork to extradite murder suspect Luka Rocco Magnotta from Germany, just hours after the porn actor was arrested at an Internet cafe in Berlin.

Magnotta is suspected of murdering his gay Chinese lover with an ice pick, filming the killing and later dismembering the body. He subsequently sent parts of the body to leading Canadian political parties.

"Mr. Magnotta has been arrested in Berlin, Germany on an Interpol Red Notice which under German law constitutes a provisional request from Canada for his extradition," justice ministry spokeswoman Julie Di Mambro said in a statement. "Pursuant to the Canada-Germany Treaty on extradition, Canada has to now submit a formal request for his extradition accompanied by documentation outlining the evidence supporting the request."

Di Mambro also said that the suspect was due to appear in a Berlin court on Tuesday, saying the Canadian authorities would "continue to be advised of the progress of this matter."

Magnotta was arrested in the Neukölln district of Berlin on Monday morning, after an employee in an Internet cafe recognized his face and flagged down a passing police car.

"He tried at first giving fake names but in the end he just said: 'You got me.' He didn't resist," police spokesman Guido Busch said of Magnotta's arrest.

Luka Rocco Magnotta

Luka Rocco Magnotta

The 29-year-old former porn actor had been traveling under aliases including Eric Clinton Newman and Vladimir Romanov as he sought to avoid arrest.

History of gruesome videos

Interpol had issued the Red Notice warrant to its 190 member countries after Magnotta apparently released video footage of the murder on the Internet.

Canadian police believe that the murder victim was 33-year-old Jun Lin from Wuhan, China, who Magnotta had dated.

Animal rights activists, meanwhile, had been trying to locate him for months as the suspect had previously posted similar videos online in which he tortured and killed cats.

The killing is believed to have taken place on May 25 but the hunt for Magnotta began on May 29, when a janitor in Montreal found a decomposing human torso in a suitcase behind his flat. That same morning, a human foot was discovered at the ruling Conservative party headquarters in Ottawa, having been mailed from Montreal. Police later intercepted a hand that had been sent to the office of the Liberal Party.

Magnotta is wanted on five charges: first-degree murder, defiling a corpse, corrupting morals, using the mail system for delivering "obscene, indecent, immoral or scurrilous" material, and harassing Prime Minister Stephen Harper.

Canada, like Germany, does not practice the death penalty, removing one possible hurdle from the extradition case.

msh/av (AFP, AP, dpa)