A court has handed down a life sentence for the murder and torture of the Swedish journalist
Danish submarine inventor Peter Madsen gets life sentence for murdering Kim Wall
A Danish submarine inventor was sentenced to life in prison on Wednesday for torturing and murdering Swedish journalist Kim Wall, whose body was dismembered and tossed overboard into the sea last year.
The decision in Copenhagen was made by one professional judge and two jurors following 11 days of hearings which unveiled Peter Madsen's dark side, including sexual fantasies involving beheading and torturing women.
Prosecutors, accused the eccentric Madsen, 47, of premeditated murder, aggravated sexual assault and desecrating a corpse. In Denmark, a life sentence averages about 16 years.
Madsen is believed to be the 15th person in a decade to receive a life sentence in the Nordic nation.
He admitted dismembering Wall's body and throwing her remains overboard, an offence punishable by six months in prison but denied killing her.
Prosecutor Jakob Buch-Jepsen said Madsen killed Wall, 30, as part of a macabre sexual fantasy and "tried to create the perfect crime".
Madsen, however, said the reporter, who boarded his self-built submarine on August 10 to interview him, died in an accident when the air pressure suddenly dropped and toxic fumes filled his vessel.
"I'm really, really sorry for what happened," he told the court after the two sides presented their closing arguments on Monday. Described by psychiatrists as a "perverse polymorph" with "psychopathic traits" who runs a "high risk" of being a repeat offender, Madsen was a semi-celebrity in Denmark known for his ambitious development of rockets and amateur space travel.
Read more: How a story cost a Swedish reporter her life
Mr Buch-Jepsen wrapped up his case by urging the court to use "common sense" and convict Madsen of premeditated murder.
"It's been shown by the psychiatric evaluation, which says the accused is a pathological liar" and "a danger to others".
Defence lawyer Betina Hald Engmark had seized on the lack of tangible evidence proving her client's guilt.
Wall's remains were retrieved from waters off Copenhagen in the weeks following her death.
A post-mortem examination found she probably died of suffocation or a slit throat after she was sexually abused but could not confirm the exact cause of death.
Her death shocked Denmark, which fell from fourth place last yearto ninth in the 2018 World Press Freedom Index by Reporters Without Borders, which cited the incident in its report a few hours before the verdict.
The prosecution noted that on the night before Wall boarded his vessel, he googled "beheaded girl agony", which Madsen said was a "pure coincidence".
In addition to the life sentence, the prosecution has also called for safe custody — a legal alternative that would keep him behind bars indefinitely as long as he is deemed to be dangerous.