EDMONTON — An Edmonton website owner pleaded guilty in the posting of an infamous video of Luka Magnotta dismembering a Chinese university student in Montreal.
Mark Marek, who founded bestgore.com, was arrested a year after the 2012 killing of Jun Lin. His trial was set to begin Monday morning, however Marek changed his plea when court began.
The 41-year-old pleaded not guilty to publishing obscene material — a charge under the corrupting morals section in the Criminal Code and which carries a maximum sentence of two years.
He was sentenced to a six-month conditional sentence, after Court of Queen’s Bench Justice Sterling Sanderman agreed to a joint sentencing submission from the Crown and defence.
Marek will have to serve half of the six-month sentence under house arrest.
Police have alleged Magnotta sent Marek the video and that Marek posted it online knowing it depicted a real killing.
The video, titled “1 Lunatic 1 Ice Pick,” shows a man in a dark hoodie stabbing an already dead Lin and eventually cutting the body into pieces.
Magnotta was convicted in 2014 of first-degree murder and sentenced to life in prison.
The porn actor and escort admitted to killing and dismembering Lin and to mailing the man’s hands and feet to political offices in Ottawa and schools in Vancouver. Police in Montreal found Lin’s torso in a suitcase.
Magnotta’s lawyer argued in court that his client was not criminally responsible for his actions due to a mental disorder. A jury found him guilty after eight days of deliberations.
The gruesome 10-minute video was shown at Magnotta’s trial.
An officer testified that it appeared on various sites under different titles and, while some sites removed it at the request of police, bestgore.com resisted.
WATCH: Jun Lin’s father breaks down discussing trial and Luka Magnotta
In a previous email to The Canadian Press, Marek said he removed the video the same day police publicly identified Magnotta as a suspect.
He also said, in a post on his site, that he initially thought the video was a bad joke and he suggested that the site’s users had helped identify Magnotta before the police did.”I’ve dedicated my life to fight against Evil and Lies and I know that God and Truth are on my side,” he wrote.
Marek, a native of Slovakia, declined an interview before the trial.
He is out on bail and acting as his own lawyer.
His website is still operating. It advertises itself as a reality news website for adults only. It opens with a content warning.
“Videos and images posted on Best Gore are bloody, gut wrenching, teeth grinding, offensive and upsetting. Just as the life itself,” it says.
“Best Gore exposes the truth about the humans as a whole and the truth is not always nice.”
Police have described the site as disturbingly violent and racist and said it has had as many as 10 million viewers.
BELOW: interactive graphic timeline of the Luka Magnotta case
WATCH: Edmonton police have charged a local website operator with Corrupting Morals. As Laurel Clark reports, they believe he posted a video sent to him by Luka Magnotta depicting a murder.
With files from Fletcher Kent, Global News