Danish submarine killer to hear appeal ruling on reduced sentence

Copenhagen (AFP) –


Danish inventor Peter Madsen, found guilty in April of the 2017 murder of journalist Kim Wall aboard his homemade submarine, is hoping appeal court judges will reduce his life sentence when they announce their decision on Friday.

The three professional and two lay judges are due to issue their ruling on Friday afternoon, after the prosecution and defence present their final arguments.

Madsen, 47, appealed his life sentence but not the guilty verdict handed down by the Copenhagen district court on April 25 for murdering the 30-year-old Swedish journalist, chopping up her corpse and throwing her body parts into the sea last year.

He claims her death was an accident.

"What we have before us is a case and acts that the (lower) court qualified as cynical and brutal, and the entire prosecution and myself feel that it is a case that deserves a life sentence," prosecutor Kristian Kirk said on the first day of the appeal process on September 5.

The defence has meanwhile argued that in Danish jurisprudence, life sentences are rarely handed down for a single killing.

In the past 10 years, only three people have received such life sentences.

On August 10, 2017, Wall boarded the submarine with the eccentric and self-taught engineer -- a minor celebrity in Denmark -- to interview him for an article she was writing.

Wall's boyfriend reported her missing when she failed to return home that night.

Her dismembered body parts were later found on the seabed, weighted down in plastic bags.

During the appeals hearing, Kirk presented the most "pertinent" evidence from the lower court trial, including testimony from a friend of Madsen's who testified that Madsen had told him of his fantasy to commit the perfect crime.

Madsen changed his version of events several times, but ultimately told the lower court that Wall died when the air pressure suddenly dropped and toxic fumes filled his vessel while he was up on deck.

An autopsy report concluded that she probably died as a result of suffocation or having her throat slit, but the decomposed state of her body meant they could not determine an exact cause of death.

Madsen, who described himself to friends as a "loving psychopath", admitted during the lower court trial to chopping up her body and throwing it overboard.