Prosecutors have announced that the Danish inventor Peter Madsen has been formally charged with the murder of Swedish journalist Kim Wall while she was aboard his submarine.
Copenhagen police have indicted Madsen on charges of killing Wall “with prior planning and preparation,” which is equivalent to murder, as well as dismemberment and “sexual relations other than intercourse of a particularly dangerous nature.”
On August 10, freelance journalist Wall vanished after leaving the port of Copenhagen aboard Madsen’s UC3 Nautilus submarine to conduct an interview with him.
Eleven days after her disappearance, her torso surfaced on the beach in Amager Island near Copenhagen. Divers later recovered the victim’s severed head and legs in plastic bags, while left and right arms that were believed to have been Wall’s were discovered in separate locations.
According to prosecutors, the exact cause of the victim’s death was not known, but strangulation or cutting of the throat are possibilities. Autopsy also revealed that the victim was stabbed at least 14 times.
The suspect has given varying statements explaining the disappearance of Wall. He has denied killing the journalist, saying she died accidentally while onboard his submarine when a hatch unexpectedly collapsed.
However, during a questioning in October, the suspect did admit to dismembering Wall’s body and throwing its parts into the sea.
Witnesses saw Wall and Madsen onboard the submarine as it left Copenhagen port. After she failed to return home that evening, Wall’s boyfriend contacted authorities, and the submarine was then reported missing.
The next morning, authorities found the vessel floating in waters south of Copenhagen. The submarine began sinking when a rescue party approached it. Madsen was rescued from the sinking vessel, but there was no sign of the victim.
The 30-year old Wall was a talented journalist who has written for The New York Times, the Guardian, and Time. She was based in Beijing and New York, and she graduated from Columbia University and London School of Economics.