COPENHAGEN – Danish submarine inventor Peter Madsen was found guilty Wednesday of torturing and murdering Swedish reporter Kim Wall during a private submarine trip. He was sentenced to life in prison.
Judge Anette Burkoe at the Copenhagen City Court said she and two jurors unanimously decided Wall’s death was a murder, saying Madsen didn’t given “a trustworthy” explanation.
It was a “cynical murder” of a journalist who was performing her duties, the court said in its ruling, which was not broadcast live due to a court order.
In Denmark, life equates to 16 years, which can be extended if necessary.
Throughout the trial that started March 8, Madsen, 47, has denied murder, saying 30-year-old Wall died accidentally inside the submarine – though he changed his story about how she had died.
Wall embarked on Madsen’s submarine on Aug. 10 to interview the entrepreneur.
He initially denied dismembering her, then confessed that he had done so and said he’d thrown her body parts into the Baltic Sea.
He listened quietly as the verdict was read, looking down at the desk in front of him.
Prosecutor Jakob Buch-Jepsen claimed Wall’s murder was sexually motivated and premeditated because Madsen brought along tools he normally didn’t take when sailing, including a saw and sharpened screwdrivers.
Madsen’s defence lawyer had argued for his acquittal on the charge of murder, saying he had only been guilty of has said he should only be sentenced the lesser charge of cutting Wall’s body into pieces.
The cause of death has never been established but the court found that Madsen “cut the body into pieces to hide what had happened.”
It was not immediately clear whether Madsen would appeal the verdict.
David Rising in Berlin contributed to this story