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CRIME

Danish inventor Peter Madsen jailed for life over submarine murder

Danish inventor Peter Madsen has been sentenced to life in jail over the murder of Swedish freelance journalist Kim Wall.

Danish inventor Peter Madsen jailed for life over submarine murder
Submarine builder Peter Madsen. Photo: Niels Hougaard/Ritzau via AP

The decision, made by a unanimous court of one professional judge and two lay judges, was announced at 1pm on Wednesday by Copenhagen District Court. His lawyer immediately said he would appeal the verdict.

Madsen, 47, had admitted dismembering 30-year-old Wall's body and throwing her remains overboard in waters off Copenhagen last August, but claimed her death was accidental.

But he changed his version of events several times, and the court found he had failed to give any credible explanations. 

He initially claimed he had dropped Wall off on dry land in Copenhagen on the night of August 10th, 2017, after she boarded his submarine Nautilus to interview the eccentric self-taught engineer.

But he soon changed his story, claiming that a heavy hatch door had fallen on her head and killed her.

When the autopsy later revealed there was no blunt trauma to Wall's skull, he said she died after a sudden drop in pressure caused toxic fumes to fill the vessel while he was up on deck.

Prosecutor Jakob Buch-Jepsen on the other hand told the court during the 11-day trial that Madsen killed the journalist as part of a macabre sexual fantasy and “tried to create the perfect crime”.

The court also found Madsen guilty of sexual assault and desecrating a corpse.

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Despite the testimony of many experts, the lack of tangible evidence in the case and the decomposed state of Wall's remains made it impossible to determine her exact cause of death.

An autopsy report said she probably died as a result of suffocation or having her throat slit.

But the court found the incriminating circumstances were enough to find Madsen guilty, including the gruesome videos he watched, and the fact that he brought a saw, plastic strips and a sharpened screwdriver on board.

Psychiatric experts who evaluated Madsen – who described himself to friends as “a psychopath, but a loving one” – found him to be “a pathological liar” who poses “a danger to others” and who was likely to be a repeat offender.

Madsen is the 15th person in 10 years to receive a life sentence in Denmark.

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CRIME

Denmark jails IS ‘wife’ for three years

A 35-year-old Danish woman was sentenced on Friday to three years in prison for entering Syria and promoting the Islamic State (IS) group's activities, prosecutors in Denmark said.

Denmark jails IS 'wife' for three years

During the mother of five’s trial, the prosecutor had argued that wives were a key part of IS.

“Even if you did not actively participate in the fighting, we assert that you can support the terrorist organisation by shopping in its supermarkets, by taking care of the children, by being a housewife,” prosecutor Trine Schjodt
Fogh said.

The woman, who pleaded guilty, was convicted of “having promoted the activities of IS, in particular by acting as the housewife and wife of a person who was active in the terrorist organisation,” the prosecution authority said in a statement.

She was also found guilty of having “entered and resided in al-Raqqa district in Raqqa province and Deir al-Zour province in Syria, which were defined as conflict zones during the period”.

The  woman, who is originally from the west of Denmark, arrived in Syria eight years ago, a journey she “bitterly” regrets, her lawyer Mette Gith Stage told news agency Ritzau.

“The last few years have been difficult for her, first in the caliphate, then in a prison camp and now in prison. She misses her children terribly and is eager for the case to end so that she and her children can move on,” the
lawyer said.

In October 2021, Denmark removed three women and 14 children from the Kurdish-controlled Roj camp in north-eastern Syria in a joint operation with Germany.

The three women were arrested on arrival in Denmark and have since been in detention and the trial that just ended marks the first of three.

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