Pole arrested in Malta admits to teacher’s grisly murder, faces life in jail

Kajetan Poznański, the 27-year-old Pole who was arrested in Valletta after fleeing Poland, faces life imprisonment after admitting to the gruesome murder of his teacher whose decapitated body was found in a bag.

Kajetan Poznanski leaving court on 18 February after the court ordered that he be extradited • Photo: Chris Mangion
Kajetan Poznanski leaving court on 18 February after the court ordered that he be extradited • Photo: Chris Mangion

Kajetan Poznanski, the Pole wanted for the murder of his Italian teacher whose charred, decapitated body was found in a bag earlier this month faces life imprisonment after admitting to the gruesome murder.

Poznanski was arrested at City Gate, Valletta, on 17 February on the basis of a European Arrest Warrant, after escaping from Poland through Germany and arriving in Malta from Sicily by catamaran on 9 February.

Poznanski arrived in Poland on board a Polish military plane after the court upheld a request for his extradition.  The 27-year-old, whom acquaintances had described as being obsessed with Hannibal Lecter arrived at Krakow on Friday before he was questioned at the prosecutor’s office.

According to the prosecutor’s office, Poznanski admitted to committing the murder of his Italian teacher, identified only as Catherine. Poznanski refused to be represented by a lawyer and is alleged to have divulged details about the gruesome murder during his interrogation.

The Prosecution objected to the granting of bail due to the severity of the crime and out of fears that he could abscond. The court upheld the prosecution’s demand and held Poznanski in custody until May 25.

Poznanski will also undergo psychiatric tests to analyse his mental infirmity.

Poznanski was arrested in Malta as a result of a joint operation by the Criminal Investigation Department, the Cyber Crime Unit, and Immigration police. He was subsequently detained and less than 24 hours later, a court ordered that he be extradited to Poland.

Przemysław Nowak, a spokesman for the Prosecutor's Office in Warsaw, said he was pleased at the rapid decision by the Maltese courts.

"We are pleasantly surprised by the speed of events – a speed that is unheard of in other European countries, including in Poland,” Nowak said.

Poznański, who had no previous criminal record or history of mental health issues, was reportedly described by acquaintances as a private and intelligent person with a passion for ancient poetry, who had become increasingly introverted after graduating.

His fondness for fictional character Hannibal Lecter, a cannibal murderer portrayed by Anthony Hopkins in the movie The Silence of the Lambs, bordered on obsession. In a chilling precursor to his alleged crime, the young librarian is reported to have authored a poem, in Latin, entitled “Feast of Hannibal Lecter.”

A collector of Samurai swords, Poznański is thought to have used one of the Japanese blades for Katarzyna’s murder at her flat in Warsaw’s Woli district. There, he allegedly killed her in cold blood before dismembering the body, placing the head in a backpack and stuffing the body into a suitcase.

He is thought to have then caught a taxi to his apartment in Zoliborz, which he allegedly set ablaze to destroy evidence, before fleeing the country.

Investigators are also awaiting the final results of the autopsy.