NEWS
25/04/2018 12:03 BST | Updated 25/04/2018 16:39 BST

Kim Wall: Peter Madsen Guilty Of Murdering Swedish Journalist

The journalist's dismembered body was found in August.

Danish inventor Peter Madsen has been found guilty of torturing and murdering the Swedish journalist, Kim Wall, on board his homemade submarine.

He was sentenced to life in prison at Copenhagen City Court on Wednesday.  

During the trial, Madsen admitted to dismembering Wall’s corpse but repeatedly denied murdering her. Judge Anette Burkoe said she and the two jurors agreed Wall’s death was a murder.

Burkoe said Madsen did not give “a trustworthy” explanation and that he had “dismembered the body to conceal the evidence from the crime he had committed.”

Madsen, 47, was arrested by police on 11 August last year when he emerged from his submarine without Wall, who had accompanied him on the craft the previous day to research a news article.

Ritzau Scanpix/Anne Gyrite Schutt/via REUTERS
A courtroom sketch shows Peter Madsen during the trial

Later that month, police identified a torso washed ashore in Copenhagen as Wall’s. 

Arms, legs and a head determined to belong to the 30-year-old victim were also later retrieved from the water by the authorities.

Madsen said he dismembered Wall’s body and threw it overboard because he wanted to restore “normal conditions” on board. Prosecutors said Wall died either by strangulation, or having her throat cut, a claim forensic investigators were not able to confirm. 

TT News Agency/ Reuters
Kim Wall went missing on 10 August last year 

Madsen claims Wall died from breathing exhaust gases that had leaked into the submarine due to a technical error while he was on the deck of the vessel preparing to submerge. A forensic team were also not able to verify this claim.

Madsen was additionally accused of “sexual assault without intercourse, of a particularly dangerous nature” in relation to the 14 interior and exterior stab wounds investigators found to Wall’s genitals.

A life sentence in Denmark is typically around 15 years without parole, and Madsen has said he will appeal the conviction and sentence. 

The longest serving convict in modern Danish history is set to begin his 34th year behind bars this year after the murder of two young adults in 1985.

SCANPIX DENMARK / REUTERS
Peter Madsen has admitted dismembering Wall's body but denies murdering her

Wall was a freelance journalist whose work had appeared in Harper’s Magazine, The Guardian, The New York Times, Foreign Policy, the South China Morning Post, The Atlantic and TIME.

Originally from Sweden, she held degrees from New York’s Columbia University and the London School of Economics and was based between New York and Beijing. She had written on topics ranging from gender and social justice to pop culture and foreign policy, according to her LinkedIn profile.

Wall’s closest relatives were not present in court on Wednesday. Her mother had previously said: “She gave a voice to the weak, the vulnerable and marginalised people. That voice would have been needed for a long, long time. Now it won’t be so.”