POLITICS

German prosecutor: extradition of Canadian body-parts suspect due within days

06/07/2012 02:58 EDT | Updated 08/07/2012 05:12 EDT
German prosecutors said Thursday a decision on the extradition of the porn actor suspected of the grisly killing and dismemberment of a Chinese student in Montreal could be made within days.

Berlin prosecutors asked a court to transfer 29-year-old Luka Rocco Magnotta into pre-extradition custody, spokesman Martin Steltner said.

Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Police Department is also looking into Magnotta's recent activity. It has consulted Montreal police about his whereabouts during a dismemberment slaying in California that had eery similarities to the one he's accused of.

CAUTION: GRAPHIC CONTENT MAY DISTURB SOME READERS.

Magnotta, who was arrested in Berlin following an international manhunt, is suspected of killing and dismembering Concordia University student Jun Lin before sending some of his body parts to two federal political parties and two schools.

The decision on the extradition of the suspect would likely require a "few days" and isn't expected before next week, Steltner said.

Magnotta's extradition could take longer if he chooses to contest the decision, although he previously told police he would not fight extradition. The German government must also sign off on the extradition, but that step is largely considered a formality.

Magnotta's court-appointed lawyer Evelyn Ascher declined to comment, saying in an email that "until further notice I am not able to give any interviews, as there are too many requests."

The case came to light May 29 when Lin's left hand and left foot were discovered after being mailed in separate parcels to the federal Liberal and Conservative parties in Ottawa. His torso was found locked in a suitcase the same day.

The investigation spread to the other end of the country this week as more body parts were mailed from Montreal to two schools in Vancouver. Those parcels contained a right hand and a right foot, and Canadian police said they would conduct DNA tests to confirm a match.

Investigators allege Magnotta videotaped the killing and dismemberment in his apartment and posted it online. The video also shows the suspect eating parts of the body, police said.

Magnotta was found at an Internet cafe in Berlin after evading police for days while he partied in Paris. He arrived in Berlin on Saturday on a bus from Paris and stayed with a friend, or someone he met on the Internet, for two nights before he was captured, Steltner said. Investigators in Germany were looking for more information on the person.

The case was also drawing scrutiny in the southwestern U.S. on Thursday.

Officer Bruce Borihanh, a spokesman with the Los Angeles Police Department, said detectives with the force's Robbery Homicide Division, which handles the city's most high-profile cases, had discussed a recent L.A. homicide with Canadian investigators.

"Any time you're investigating something, you see something similar, of course you're going to be in contact," said Borihanh. "You try and share information as much as you can.

"Our investigators are in contact with Canadian investigators and they're just trying to determine Magnotta's whereabouts durng our investigation of the Hollywood Hills murder and that's it."

In January, a head in a plastic shopping bag was found by a man walking his dog in a Los Angeles park near the fabled Hollywood sign. The victim was identified as Hervey Medellin, a 66-year-old retired employee of Mexicana Airlines.

His hands and feet were found later in a nearby shallow hole in the ground. Police made it clear they are not yet linking Magnotta's case and the murder in L.A. They simply want to know whether Magnotta was there during the crime.

Along with Montreal and Berlin, Magnotta is thought to have spent time in Los Angeles, Miami, New York, Paris and London. He is originally from Scarborough, Ont.

Police said Lin, a 33-year-old university student from China, knew Magnotta, who posted heaps of photos, videos and writing on the Internet.

The Chinese consulate in Montreal also announced on Thursday that donations are being accepted for the Lin Jun Rest in Peace Foundation, which was set up by the Chinese Students and Scholars Association of Concordia University, where Lin studied.

Information on how to contribute is available on the Consulate General of the People's Republic of China in Montreal's website or through LinJunFoundation@gmail.com. The money will be used to defray the expenses incurred by Lin's family while they are in Montreal to settle his affairs.

-With files by Nelson Wyatt in Montreal