German witness grilled as Luka Rocco Magnotta murder trial enters Day 8

The jury in Luka Rocco Magnotta’s first-degree murder trial is hearing again this morning from the German man who housed the accused in the days preceding his June 2012 arrest in Berlin.

MONTREAL — The jury in Luka Rocco Magnotta’s first-degree murder trial is hearing again this morning from the German man who housed the accused in the days preceding his June 2012 arrest in Berlin.

Defence lawyer Luc Leclair is trying to test Frank Rubert’s credibility on the eighth day of the trial by asking him about his drinking habits and lengthy criminal record.

Rubert has testified he met Magnotta on a gay chat site and that the accused lived at his apartment for four days.

He says they spent those days shopping, dining and drinking a lot.

Rubert said through an interpreter that Magnotta showed up at the Berlin bus station via Paris with no luggage, a few thousand euros and reportedly looking for a fresh start after a breakup.

The 32-year-old Magnotta has pleaded not guilty to five charges in the murder and dismemberment of Chinese engineering student Jun Lin in late May 2012. He was ultimately arrested in the German capital.

Magnotta has admitted to the acts he’s accused of in Lin’s death, but is arguing he is not criminally responsible by way of mental disorder.

The Crown contends the killing was planned and deliberate and says it plans to prove that.

The charges against Magnotta are first-degree murder; criminally harassing Prime Minister Stephen Harper and other members of Parliament; mailing obscene and indecent material; committing an indignity to a body; and publishing obscene materials.

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