Danish inventor on trial for murder of journalist on submarine

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A Danish inventor has gone on trial accused of murdering a Swedish reporter on his home-made submarine.

Peter Madsen is alleged to have tied up and tortured journalist Kim Wall before killing her, during a trip on the vessel last August.

Denmark Journalist Killed
Members of the media queue up in front of the court in Copenhagen where Peter Madsen is going on trial (Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau/AP)

Prosecutor Jakob Buch-Jepsen started the 12-day trial in Copenhagen by reading the charges while Madsen, wearing glasses and a dark shirt, watched the prosecutor from his seat next to his lawyer.

Defence lawyer Betaina Hald Engmark then formally entered a not-guilty plea to the murder charge.

Denmark Journalist Killed
Defence attorney Betina Hald Engmark arrives at court at the start of Peter Madsen’s murder trial (Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau/AP)

Madsen, 47, claims Ms Wall died accidentally inside the submarine while he was on deck during the excursion.

He has admitted throwing her body parts into the sea.

  • Where - Copenhagen City Court
  • When - March 8-April 25. The date for the verdict is unknown
  • Purported crime scene - The 33-ton, 60ft (18m) Nautilus submarine sailing off Copenhagen
  • Purported time of crime - Overnight between August 10 and August 11 2017
  • Charges - Murder, dismemberment and indecent handling of a corpse, as well as having sexual relations of a 'particularly dangerous nature'. Sailing dangerously, forcing one ship to change its course and sailing close to another ship
  • Sentence - Prosecutors will urge that Madsen be sentenced to life in prison or be locked up in a secure mental facility, if deemed necessary by psychiatrists, for as long as he is considered sick and a danger to others

The prosecution claims Ms Wall’s murder was premeditated because Madsen took tools that he did not normally take on board the submarine.

The trial at Copenhagen’s City Court is expected to last until April 25.