Swedish freelance journalist Kim Wall died in an accident when she was hit by a heavy hatch cover on board a home-made submarine, the Danish owner of the submarine testified in court on Tuesday.
Peter Madsen was holding the hatch for Wall as they sailed in the strait between Denmark and Sweden last month on a submarine he had built, he told a Danish court.
“I lose my foothold and the hatch shuts,” the 46-year-old said. “Kim had been severely hurt and was laying with an intense bleeding. There was a pool of blood where she had landed.”
He said he tried to bury the 30-year-old at sea and intended to take his own life inside the submarine. On 23 August, police identified a headless female torso that washed ashore in Copenhagen as Wall’s. The cause of her death has not been determined.
Earlier, police spokesman Jens Moller said the torso had suffered damage, suggesting “an attempt to make sure air and gas should leave the body so that it would not rise from the seabed.”
He added: “There was also some metal attached to the body, allegedly also to make sure the body would sink to the bottom.”
The police have charged Madsen with killing the Swedish journalist, a charge carrying a sentence of five years to life in prison. He was arrested after his submarine sank and he was rescued, a day after Wall went missing. Moller also said there were indications Madsen deliberately sunk the submarine.
He had earlier claimed he had dropped her off alive in Copenhagen.
The Copenhagen district court will rule on whether to extend his custody and on what charges. Last month it was reported that prosecutors were expected to ask for Madsen to be charged with murder.