Magnotta trial hears about German psychiatrist’s first encounter with accused

A German psychiatrist who spoke with Luka Rocco Magnotta at a Berlin prison hospital following his arrest in Jun Lin’s death says he rambled, often jumping from topic to topic.

MONTREAL — A German psychiatrist who spoke with Luka Rocco Magnotta at a Berlin prison hospital following his arrest in Jun Lin’s death says he rambled, often jumping from topic to topic.

Dr. Thomas Barth testified at Magnotta’s murder trial today that the accused told him he was hearing voices and that it felt like a radio was on inside his head.

Barth says Magnotta appeared shy, switching topic almost on a sentence-to-sentence basis, and spoke about everything from fears of being watched, to family troubles, to ex-boyfriends who were cruel to him.

The 32-year-old Magnotta is charged in the slaying and dismemberment of Lin in May 2012 in Montreal before he fled to Paris and then Berlin, where he was arrested.

He has admitted to killing the Chinese engineering student, but has pleaded not guilty by way of mental disorder.

The arrest warrant already noted that Magnotta suffered from schizophrenia. Barth says his own diagnosis was that Magnotta suffered a “severe psychotic episode related to suspected paranoid schizophrenia.”

Barth says it was “suspected” because typically such an evaluation takes up to a month and that Magnotta was only at the facility for a week before being returned to Canada.

While it is possible for a patient to fake certain symptoms, the German doctor testified it is unlikely that such a ruse can be carried over an extended period of time.

Magnotta faces four charges in addition to premeditated 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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