In Brief

Danish inventor Peter Madsen to stand trial for murder of journalist Kim Wall on submarine

Madsen stands accused of sexually assaulting, murdering and dismembering the Swedish journalist

Danish inventor Peter Madsen is expected to stand trial today for the murder of Swedish journalist Kim Wall.

Madsen has been accused of sexually assaulting, torturing and murdering Wall after she joined him aboard his homemade submarine for an interview last August.

He faces charges including murder, dismemberment and “sexual relations other than intercourse of a particularly dangerous nature”.

Wall’s dismembered torso was found on a beach 10 days after she disappeared following her interview with Madsen. Over the following weeks, police divers found other parts of her body in plastic bags weighed down by pieces of metal.

Madsen told authorities that Wall had died after she hit her head on the submarine. He later changed his story, saying she had been “killed by carbon monoxide poisoning inside the submarine” while he remained on deck, the BBC reports.

Although the Dane denies killing Wall, he “has admitted to cutting her up” before burying her at sea, says ITV.

The prosecution say they believe Madsen killed Wall to “fulfill sadistic sexual fantasies, tying her up and beating and stabbing her, and then either strangling her to death or beheading her”, says The Guardian. Dozens of witnesses are scheduled to give testimony during the trial.

Lasse Lund Madsen, professor of criminal law at Aarhus University, told CNN that calling that many witnesses “means some of them are likely there to shed light on surrounding factors, I would assume to try to prove the murder was planned”.

Madsen’s defence lawyer Betaina Hald Engmark has formally submitted a not guilty plea to the murder charge.

If found guilty, Madsen is likely to either serve 15 to 17 years in prison without parole or be sent to a psychiatric hospital.

The 47-year-old entrepreneur was considered a minor celebrity in Denmark, often referred to as “Rocket-Madsen” because of his dream to be the first Dane to fly into space on a privately-built rocket.

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