Police in the Spanish capital began to search for the murderers when in March of 2009 they found the body of the man in the city’s Manzanares River.
According to online daily 20 minutos, the victim’s flesh had been removed from his bones.
Four men were identified as possible culprits: Vladimir Milisavljevic, Vladimir Mijanovic, Sinisa Petric and Luka Bojovic, the latter being named by Interpol as one of the brains behind the murder of Serbian Prime Minister Zoran Djindjic in 2003.
They told police they had hammered their partner to death in his Madrid home, cut some of his flesh off and eaten it before throwing the remains that didn’t fit down the toilet into the river.
At least three of the suspects are known to be former members of Arkan’s Tigers, a powerful militia force in the Yugoslav wars whose leader Željko Ražnatović was indicted by the UN for crimes against humanity.
After his murder in 2000, the paramilitary group came to be known as Zemun Clan, soon becoming one of the most notorious criminal organizations in Southeast Europe.
The suspects’ trial began at Madrid’s High Court on Monday, where they face charges for murder, forgery and possession of military weapons and munition.
If found guilty, they could be sentenced to up to 41 years in prison.