Copenhagen, March 8 (IANS) A Danish inventor accused of sexually assaulting, torturing and murdering a Swedish journalist after she joined him on board his submarine for an interview last August, will go on trial on Thursday.
More than 75 journalists from more than 12 countries have registered to attend the trial at the Copenhagen district court, reflecting enormous international interest in what prosecutor Jakob Buch-Jepsen has described as a “unusual and extremely brutal” case, reports the Guardian.
Peter Madsen, 47, faces charges including murder, dismemberment and “sexual relations other than intercourse of a particularly dangerous nature”.
He denies murdering Kim Wall, 30, after she boarded the vessel in pursuit of a story, but admits cutting up her body, reports the BBC.
Around 40 witnesses are set to give evidence over the next few weeks. The verdict is expected on 25 April
Prosecutor Buch-Jepsen plans to push for a life sentence, the most severe punishment possible in Denmark and one normally reserved for those who have killed multiple victims or children.
Buch-Jepsen will begin by formally laying out the charges, before outlining the prosecution’s theory that Madsen killed Wall to fulfil sadistic sexual fantasies, tying her up and beating and stabbing her, and then either strangling her to death or beheading her, the Guardian reported.
He will run through the evidence that the murder was pre-planned, including the saw, knife, plastic strips, and metal tubing Madsen brought on board.
A cyclist found the remains of the journalist’s dismembered torso on a nearby beach 10 days after she disappeared following an interview with Peter Madsen on his submarine.
Weeks later, police divers discovered other parts of her body in plastic bags weighed down with metal.
Madsen told the police that she had died when a heavy hatch on the submarine fell on her head. But the claim was disproved a month later when Wall’s head was discovered without skull injuries, the BBC reported.
Wall had had a long career in journalism, having previously reported from North Korea, the South Pacific, Uganda and Haiti, writing for the New York Times, Guardian, Vice and the South China Morning Post.