Prosecutors say the man on trial met his victim, a 43-year-old German mechanic, on an online dating site a few hours before the September slaying, German news agency dpa reported. They said there was no indication the victim agreed to be killed.
Neither of the men’s names was released, for privacy reasons.
The suspect allegedly chopped up the man’s body in his Berlin apartment and then spread parts of it in different neighborhoods of the city, dpa reported.
Police spent weeks looking for the missing mechanic before some bones were found in a forest in northern Berlin and a suspect was tracked down with the help of sniffer dogs.
The trial at a Berlin state court, which is expected to last until mid-October, is not the first of its kind in Germany.
In 2006, a German court convicted Armin Meiwes of murder and disturbing the peace for killing and eating a man he had met online. Meiwes is currently serving a life sentence.
A German police officer was convicted of murder in 2015 for killing a man he met in an internet chat forum devoted to cannibalism. Prosecutors said the victim had fantasized about being eaten, but there was no evidence the suspect actually did so.