A Melbourne man arrested in Israel over the stabbing death of his wife claims she was an enemy agent who forced him to eat human flesh, a court has heard.
John Paul Sebastian has been ordered to undergo a psychiatric examination after the body of his 54-year-old wife was found in their upmarket hotel room in Tel Aviv on Monday afternoon, local time.
Police were called to the Dan Panorama hotel about 4pm after guests heard screaming coming from the couple's room on the 15th floor.
They arrived to find the woman with multiple stab wounds to her upper body and neck. She died from her wounds at the scene.
Sebastian, who is believed to have arrived in Israel several days ago with his wife for a holiday, was arrested in the same hotel room.
Yesterday, Sebastian appeared in a the Tel Aviv City Magistrates Court where he was ordered to be admitted to hospital and undergo psychiatric examination.
The court heard that Sebastian initially claimed he acted in self-defence, according to the Tel Aviv newspaper Yedioth Ahronoth.
However he later claimed his partner had forced him to eat human flesh and raw meat, the newspaper reported.
He also accused his wife of being an "enemy agent" who had a written agreement that meant she "owned him".
The psychiatric assessment will determine whether Sebastian is fit to stand trial.
Outside the court, Sebastian’s attorney Eyal Ohayun said he had agreed that Sebastian should be detained for a further eight days while more psychiatric tests were carried out.
‘‘We want to know and find out whether he is able to stand for a trial,’’ Mr Ohayun said.
‘‘He had last night [his] first exam, and the exam showed that he’s suffering from [a] psychotic situation and probably this is the cause for the act.’’
Yesterday, a Department of Foreign Affairs spokesperson said the man was being held at the Tel Aviv police headquarters on suspicion of murder.
Embassy officials would attend his court hearing and offer him consular assistance.
"The identity and nationality of the victim has not been disclosed by police. The embassy is working to verify reports that the victim was an Australian woman," the spokesperson said.
Follow The Age on Twitter @The Age