Fri, Mar 09, 2018 - Page 6 News List

Danish submariner Madsen tried for journalist’s murder

AFP, COPENHAGEN

The high-profile trial of Danish inventor Peter Madsen, charged with murdering and dismembering Swedish journalist Kim Wall aboard his homemade submarine, opened yesterday, with proceedings expected to shed light on the circumstances of Wall’s grisly death.

The case against the 47-year-old self-taught engineer began at 9:30am at the Copenhagen District Court, attended by Wall’s family and scores of reporters from Danish and foreign media.

Prosecutor Jakob Buch-Jepsen has already said he will call for a life sentence, which in Denmark averages about 16 years.

An eccentric, semi-celebrity in Denmark who built submarines and rockets, and dreamed of developing private space travel, Madsen faces charges of premeditated murder, desecrating a corpse and aggravated sexual assault.

The case, which is to run until April 25, is expected to clarify how Wall died on board Madsen’s submarine on Aug. 10 last year when she went to interview him for an article.

He has changed his version of events several times.

He has denied murdering her, saying her death was an accident, but providing no explanation.

However, he has admitted to chopping her up and throwing her remains overboard.

His lawyer, Betina Hald Engmark, has remained tight-lipped about the case and has not revealed what he intends to tell the court.

Divers combed Danish waters in the weeks following Wall’s disappearance, ultimately recovering all of her remains.

An autopsy was unable to determine the cause of death, nor has a motive been established, but prosecutors have said they believe Madsen killed Wall as part of a sexual fantasy.

They believe he bound the 30-year-old freelance reporter by the head, arms and legs before beating her and stabbing her repeatedly in her genital area.

They said he then killed her — probably strangling her or slitting her throat — and cut her up with a saw, stuffing her torso, head, arms and legs in separate bags weighed down with metal objects, then dumping them in Koge Bay off Copenhagen.

Madsen has denied any sexual relations with Wall.

He said he panicked after her death, and dismembered her and threw her remains overboard.

According to the prosecution, investigators seized a hard drive in his workshop containing fetish movies in which women were tortured, decapitated and burned alive.

Madsen said the drive was not his.

Wall was reported missing by her boyfriend after she failed to return home from her trip.

Madsen was plucked from the sea the next morning by a pleasure craft, just as his vessel was sinking.

Investigators believe that Madsen deliberately sank the submarine.

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