Danish inventor charged with murdering reporter on his submarine
Prosecutors called the case “very unusual and extremely disturbing”.
A Danish inventor has been charged with murdering and dismembering Swedish journalist Kim Wall during a trip on his private submarine.
Prosecutors said Peter Madsen, 47, either cut Ms Wall’s throat or strangled her before cutting up her body and dumping it in the sea.
Madsen is charged with murder, dismemberment and indecent handling of a corpse, the latter relating to how he allegedly disposed of the body. He is also charged with having sexual relations “of a particularly dangerous nature” with 30-year-old Ms Wall before she was killed.
The charges were made public by the Danish prosecution authority in Copenhagen.
Prosecutor Jakob Buch-Jepsen called the case “very unusual and extremely disturbing”, and said the killing was premeditated.
He said that if convicted, Mr Madsen should be sentenced to life in prison, or be detained in a secure unit if deemed necessary by psychiatrists for as long as he is considered dangerous to others.
Madsen’s defence lawyer Betina Hald Engmark said her client still denies murdering Ms Wall.
Madsen and Ms Wall had gone on a trip in Madsen’s submarine on August 10 last year.
Ms Wall, who was working on a story about Madsen, was last seen aboard the vessel as it left Copenhagen. The next day, Madsen — an entrepreneur who once dreamed of launching a manned space mission — was rescued from the sinking submarine without Ms Wall.
It is alleged that he deliberately sank the vessel.
Madsen has offered a variety of explanations over Ms Wall’s death. Initially, he told authorities he had dropped her off on an island several hours after their voyage began. Then he claimed that Ms Wall died accidentally inside the submarine while he was on deck during the excursion, and that he had “buried” her at sea.
However, he later admitted throwing her body parts into the water.
Ms Wall’s dismembered, naked torso was found on a southern Copenhagen shoreline in late August. Her head, legs and clothes were discovered in bags at sea in October, along with heavy metal objects designed to sink them to the ocean floor.
Multiple knife wounds had been found on her torso, and Mr Buch-Jepsen claimed Madsen stabbed Ms Wall several times while she was alive.
Madsen’s trial starts on March 8 and a verdict is expected on April 25.