Peter Madsen, the Danish submarine inventor at the center of the mysterious death of Swedish journalist Kim Wall, was sentenced to life imprisonment on Wednesday for killing and dismembering Wall in a macabre case that has attracted international attention ] Walls dismembered corpse was found off the coast of Copenhagen in August. The prosecutors had said during a ride on his private submarine that 47-year-old Madsen had tied and sexually abused the wall and either choked or slashed Wall's neck before severing her body and throwing her into the sea.
Madsen was charged with murder and the immoral handling of a corpse.
Madsen denied killing Wall, but gave various explanations of how she died, including the fact that she suffered fatal carbon monoxide poisoning inside the ship when he was on deck.
During the trial in Copenhagen, Madsen confessed that he had cut up Walls corpse and said that it was easier for him to remove it from the submarine and bury it at sea, the AP reported.
"What do you do when you have a big problem? You make it smaller," Madsen told the court. "I'm really, really sorry for what happened."
Judge Anette Burkoe, reading the ruling, said Madsen's statement that Wall died in an accident was "untrustworthy" and that Madsen had "seriously and brutally" murdered a randomly chosen woman who accepted his offer, A submarine trip, "said Sky News.
A jury of three Burkoe and two jurors found Madsen unanimously for deliberately murdered and sexually assaulted, reported the network.
CBS news reported that Madsen "Resistant while the judge read the verdict" in the Copenhagen City Court, an attorney for Madsen said he wanted to appeal.
Peter Madsen is in his submarine in 2008. (Niels Hougaard / Ritzau via AP file)
"This is a very unusual and extremely brutal case that had tragic consequences for Kim Wall and her relatives," prosecutor Jakob Buch-Jepsen said in a statement by the Danish law enforcement agency when Madsen was charged in January. Denmark has no death penalty.
Earlier in the week, Buch-Jepsen described the case as "so abhorrent and repugnant that he becomes speechless as a prosecutor."
"Of course I'm personally affected by this case," said Buch-Jepsen of The New York Times. "This case is more crawling under my skin than in other cases."
Wall's disappearance and cruel death drew indignation from around the world. Friends and family report that Wall, 30, had reported from Sri Lanka, the Marshall Islands and North Korea.
Wall boarded the submarine on August 10 to tell a story about Madsen, according to her family. Madsen is known in Denmark for collecting money through crowdfunding to build missiles and submarines.
She was reported missing the next day. Madsen was rescued from the Bay of Koge, according to police, after deliberately sinking his ship, a 60-foot UC3 Nautilus.
The prosecutors demanded a life sentence for Madsen or on the basis of the results of a psychiatric examination he is sent to a mental hospital. The prosecution said the killing had been deliberate, but they had not given a motive.
"The interest in the case was enormous," said Buch-Jepsen in his January statement. "However, we hope the media will respect, that further evidence in the case will have to be presented in court and not in the press."
Madsen was arrested on August 12 and has since repeatedly changed his account of the circumstances that led him to Wall's death. Prior to claiming to have died from carbon monoxide poisoning in October, Madsen said in August that he had dropped the wall in Copenhagen before his submarine sank. He then told a Danish court in September that while he gave Wand a tour of his boat, he lost a grip on a 150-pound hatch that collided with Wall's skull. He told the prosecutor at the time when he was in a panic and Wall gave a "funeral at sea".
"In the shock I was in, it was the right thing to do," Madsen said, according to Agence France-Presse.
In early October, diver Walls found fragmented remains. Wall's legs, according to the Associated Press, were found in metal-weighed plastic bags, and her regained head showed no sign of breakage-indicating that she had not been hit by a hatch. Another bag contained a knife and Wall clothing. Weeks before, a naked torso that had been stabbed 15 times was found nearby.
A specific cause of death could not be determined by an autopsy of Wall's remains.
A court-martial shows Peter Madsen during his murder trial in Copenhagen. (Ritzau Scanpix / Anne Gyrite Schütt / via Reuters)