What we learned from the first day of Peter Madsen’s trial in Copenhagen

The 12-day trial of amateur engineer and entrepreneur Peter Madsen began on Thursday. A number of new aspects of the case came to light.

What we learned from the first day of Peter Madsen's trial in Copenhagen
Lead prosecutor Jacob Buch-Jepsen (L) and police Deputy Chief Superintendent Jens Møller Jensen at Copenhagen City Court on Thursday March 8th. Photo: Mads Claus Rasmussen/Ritzau Scanpix

Lead prosecutor Jacob Buch-Jepsen questioned Madsen and presented the case against him as the accused took to the stand during the trial's first day.

A number of shocking details were described in what is a truly disturbing case.

Our reporting of the trial will set out to reflect the facts presented.

READ ALSO: Why The Local chose to report the Kim Wall case the way we did

Buch-Jepsen presented various pieces of evidence that the public had not previously seen. One important aspect of this was information gathered from a computer belonging to Peter Madsen and a digital reconstruction of the contents of his mobile phone, which was not recovered from Køge Bay waters.

The digital evidence shows that on the morning of August 10th, Madsen “googled 'beheaded girl a(r)gony' which leads to a video of an unidentified young woman who is slowly having her throat cut,” the prosecutor said according to AFP.

On July 26th, he also googled “female beheading” and watched the videos.

He also showed an interest in what Buch-Jepsen called 'impalement' of women, broadcaster DR reports.

Additionally, the prosecutor showed the court pictures of blue and orange nylon straps. He said that the straps had been found secured within the UC3 Nautilus submarine as well as in bags found by divers containing Kim Wall's clothes.

Marks from the straps were also found on Wall's body, which indicates that the journalist had been tied down in the submarine using the straps, Buch-Jepsen said.

Also presented on Thursday were details of a psychological assessment of Madsen.

Prosecutors cited a psychological assessment which declared him “perverse and highly sexually deviant,” DR reports.

“He has narcissistic and psychopathic traits, and is manipulating, with a severe lack of empathy and remorse,” Buch-Jepsen said according to AFP.

He was also described as “extremely untrustworthy” and a “pathological” liar.

Though it had been unclear whether Madsen himself would speak on Thursday, that turned out to be the case. The suspect stuck to the version of events he gave police in October – that Kim Wall died when the submarine's air pressure suddenly dropped and toxic fumes filled the vessel.

He has previously given two different accounts. He said that he did that because he wanted to protect the journalist's family from the details of her death.

READ ALSO: Peter Madsen: I lied about cause of death to protect Kim Wall's family

Defence lawyer Betina Hald Engmark stressed in her comments to the court that no cause of death could be determined by the police investigation.

“If these statements as presented by the prosecutor can be proven, it would be very incriminating for my client. However there is not enough proof,” Hald Engmark told the court, AFP writes.

The prosecution has confirmed it will seek a life sentence, which in Denmark averages around 16 years.

The trial is scheduled to resume on March 21st and a verdict is expected on April 25th.



Domestic helper suspected of stealing valuables and cash from older adults in Copenhagen

A 31-year-old female domestic helper is suspected of having stolen cash and jewellery from elderly citizens and withdrawn money from their Dankorts in the amount of over 50,000 kroner.

Domestic helper suspected of stealing valuables and cash from older adults in Copenhagen

The woman was arrested on Saturday and charged with theft and information fraud. There are ten victims in the case.

The police suspect the woman of having stolen from citizens whose homes she has visited as part of her work as a domestic worker in various places in Copenhagen.

“She has worked as a domestic helper and has been in people’s homes as an employee,” Bjarke Dalsgaard, deputy police inspector at Copenhagen police, said.

According to the police, the woman has stolen jewellery and cash on ten occasions. In addition, she has stolen debit cards in four cases and withdrawn money using them. The money that has been withdrawn alone adds up to a value of 52,000 kroner.

Copenhagen police received the first report of theft in the case at the beginning of 2022.

According to the police, the 31-year-old domestic helper admitted to one instance of crime (the theft of around 400 kroner) but pleaded not guilty regarding the remaining 13.