Inventor Peter Madsen gets life sentence for Kim Wall murder

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A Copenhagen court has sentenced eccentric inventor Peter Madsen to life in prison over the murder of Kim Wall, a journalist who was killed after joining Madsen on his submarine last August.

The discovery of Wall's body prompted Madsen to say that a frightful accident killed Wall - but Danish authorities were skeptical of that story.

Wall, a promising 30-year-old journalist, was last seen boarding Madsen's self-built submarine in Copenhagen on August 10 last year when she had planned to interview him for an upcoming article.

Madsen, 47, admitted to dismembering the body and throwing it overboard but he denied murdering Wall.

Madsen's lawyers say he is willing to accept the charges of dismembering the body, but the inventor will not admit to killing Wall.

Judge Anette Burkoe at the Copenhagen City Court said she and the two jurors agreed Wall's death was a murder, saying Madsen didn't given "a trustworthy" explanation.

The cause of death had never been established.

Madsen's defense lawyer has said he should only be sentenced for cutting Wall into pieces.

Later that month, police identified a torso washed ashore in Copenhagen as Wall's.

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"This is a very unusual and extremely brutal case which has had tragic consequences for Kim Wall and her relatives", prosecutor Jakob Buch-Jepsen said in a statement from the Danish prosecution authority when Madsen was charged in January.

Mr Buch-Jepsen sought a life sentence for Madsen.

The prosecution noted that on the night before Wall boarded his vessel, he googled "beheaded girl agony", which Madsen said was a "pure coincidence".

Madsen's explanation that the journalist died accidentally from Carbon dioxide asphyxiation on board his submarine was corroborated as plausible by one expert witness, and dismissed by another, making it hard to prove either way.

What do you do when you have a big problem? he told the court. The journalist had reported from all over the world for Time magazine, the New York Times, and the Guardian, among others.

Wall was stabbed multiple times in the genitals, according to a post-mortem exam of her remains.

Madsen will appeal the sentence, his defence attorney told the court.

In all, Madsen was found guilty on all three charges: which were the indecent handling of a corpse, premeditated murder, and "sexual relations other than intercourse of a particularly unsafe nature".

In his final words to the court on Monday after both sides wrapped up their final arguments, Madsen said: "I'm really, really sorry for what happened". Created by Wall's family and friends, it aims to support female reporters who cover what Wall called "the undercurrents of rebellion".

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