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Berlin - A man accused of killing a pensioner and hiding his dismembered corpse in a deep freezer for 10 years unexpectedly broke his silence on Friday to deny murder.

Almost four months into the trial at the regional court in Berlin, the 56-year-old defendant said the 80-year-old widower was dead when he found him in the pensioner's apartment in late December 2006.

Then the thought came to him to conceal the death of his elderly acquaintance and collect his pension, the defendant said. He admitted to dismembering the body.

The prosecution says that the defendant won the widower's trust, before shooting him and then going to great lengths to conceal his death.

Police entered the apartment and found the dismembered corpse in early January 2017.