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Danish inventor Peter Madsen given life sentence

Madsen has been found guilty of mutilation and murder of Swedish journalist Kim Wall.

Posted: Apr 25, 2018 7:36 AM

(CNN) -- Danish inventor Peter Madsen has been found guilty of the mutilation and murder of Swedish journalist Kim Wall, and sentenced to life in prison.

Madsen was found guilty on all three charges he faced: premeditated murder, the indecent handling of a corpse and "sexual relations other than intercourse of a particularly dangerous nature," evidenced by stab wounds inside and outside Wall's genital area.

During the sentencing at a court in Copenhagen Wednesday, the judge, Anette Burkoe, described the crime as "a cynical and planned sexual murder of a severe brutal nature against a random woman."

Madsen has appealed the verdict to Denmark's High Court.

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.

Instead she disappeared and her torso washed up on an island near Copenhagen on August 21. Her head and legs were found weeks later.

Madsen consistently denied charges of murder and sexual assault, claiming Wall died by accident from carbon dioxide poisoning, although he admitted to dismembering her body and tossing it into the sea in a state of panic.

Explaining the verdict, Burkoe said that Madsen dismembered Wall's body in order to hide his crime and that he had not provided a reasonable explanation for the injuries found on her body or for his decision to bring a saw, screwdrivers and other items onto the UC3 Nautilus submarine.

Asked on Monday if he wanted to make a last statement before the jury went into deliberation, Madsen said, "If anything, I am sorry about what happened."

At Madsen's request, the verdict was reached by a judge and two-person jury instead of the typical six-person jury of a city court. All three were in agreement on the verdict, according to Burkoe.

The prosecution had asked for Madsen to be sentenced to life in prison or placed in "forvaring" -- a type of preventive custody with no time limit for prisoners believed to pose a significant danger to others.

Both are considered the harshest penalties in Danish law. Life sentences are rarely given in Denmark unless a person is found guilty of multiple murders.

The question of forvaring or a life sentence arose based on Madsen's mental examination, which concluded that he remains dangerous, has psychotic traits, appears unfeeling and untrustworthy, suffers from lack of empathy and is highly sexually deviant.

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