Inventor gets life for reporter’s murder

COPENHAGEN, Denmark (AP) — Danish submarine inventor Peter Madsen was found guilty today of torturing and murdering Swedish reporter Kim Wall before dismembering her body during a private submarine trip. He was sentenced to life in prison.

Copenhagen City Court Judge Anette Burkoe said she and two jurors unanimously decided Wall’s death was a murder, finding Madsen also guilty of sexual assault and the defilement of a corpse.

“It is the court’s assessment that the defendant killed Kim Wall,” Burkoe told the packed courtroom.

During the 12 days of the trial that began March 8, the court heard testimony that Madsen, 47, lured 30-year-old Wall on to his hand-built submarine with the promise of an interview she had been trying to get for months.

Wall, a freelance journalist who wrote for leading magazines and newspapers, was last seen Aug. 10 waving to her boyfriend and other friends ashore as the submarine sailed off into the Baltic.

Her dismembered torso was found days later at sea off Copenhagen, and other body parts were found in plastic bags in October.

“We are talking about a cynical and planned sexual assault and brutal murder of a random woman, who in connection with her journalistic work had accepted an offer to go sailing in the defendant’s submarine,” Burkoe told the court.

In Denmark, life equates to 16 years, which can be extended if necessary.

Immediately after the verdict, Madsen’s lawyer, Betina Hald Engmark, told the court she would appeal. The court ordered Madsen kept behind bars during the appeals process.

“I am satisfied that the court has listened to what I said,” prosecutor Jakob Buch-Jepsen told reporters outside court.

Throughout the trial Madsen denied murder, saying 30-year-old Wall died accidentally inside the submarine.

By Patricia Older

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