Danish inventor Peter Madsen appeals life term over murder of journalist Kim Wall

A courtroom sketch shows Peter Madsen during the trial regarding the killing of Swedish journalist Kim Wall, in Copenhagen, Denmark on April 25, 2018. PHOTO: REUTERS

COPENHAGEN (AFP) - A Danish inventor found guilty of the murder of a Swedish journalist aboard his homemade submarine has appealed his life sentence but is not contesting the verdict, prosecutors said Monday (May 7).

Peter Madsen "is found guilty in the murder of Kim Wall and has only appealed the length" of his life sentence, Simon Gosvig, spokesman for the Danish prosecutor's office, told AFP.

A Copenhagen district court on April 25 sentenced the 47-year-old to a life sentence for murdering the 30-year-old journalist, chopping up her corpse and throwing her body parts into the sea in August last year.

The eccentric inventor confessed to stuffing Wall's head, arms and legs into plastic bags, weighing them down with metal pipes before tossing them into the sea, but maintained throughout his trial that her death was accidental.

The court, however, concluded the gruesome videos Madsen watched of women being beheaded and tortured and the fact that he brought a saw, plastic strips and a sharpened screwdriver on board just before the voyage with Wall were enough to find him guilty.

Most observers had expected Madsen to appeal the verdict.

The prosecutor's office said Madsen's bid for a milder sentence could not be interpreted as an admission of guilt.

While a life sentence in Denmark averages around 16 years, Madsen could be held behind bars for as long as he lives if the life term is confirmed.

Despite the testimony of many experts, the lack of tangible evidence in the case and the decomposed state of Wall's remains made it impossible to determine an exact cause of death.

An autopsy report concluded she probably died as a result of suffocation or having her throat slit.

Fourteen stab wounds and piercings were also found in and around her genital area.

Madsen had argued that he stabbed her because he wanted to prevent gases from building up inside her body that would prevent it from sinking to the seabed.

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