The prosecutor in the trial of a Danish inventor accused of torture and murder in the death of a Swedish journalist during a private submarine trip said Monday there is “a risk that he that can commit the same kind of crime again.”
Prosecutor Jakob Buch-Jepsen said Kim Wall may have been tied with her own stockings before Peter Madsen impaled her, and that he acted with a sexual motive.
In his final comments, Buch-Jepsen demanded Madsen is given life in prison — 16 years in Denmark, which could be extended if necessary — or locked up in a secure mental facility for as long as he’s considered a danger to others.
He said Madsen who is accused of either cutting Wall’s throat or strangling her, is not insane but “emotionally impaired with severe lack of empathy, anger and guilt.”
Buch-Jepsen also quoted a court-ordered psychiatric report that described Madsen as an intelligent man “with psychopathic tendencies.”
Defense lawyer Betina Hald Engmark called it “a horror story … but the story is not based on facts. It is based on undocumented claims.”
“It is not my client’s duty to prove that he is innocent. It is the task of the prosecutor to prove that he is guilty,” she told a packed Copenhagen City Court room. Wall’s parents were among those in attendance.
Wall, a 30-year-old freelance journalist who wrote for The New York Times, The Guardian and other publications, set out on the submarine on Aug. 10 to interview Madsen, the co-founder of a company that develops and builds manned spacecraft.
Her remains were found in plastic bags on the Baltic Sea bed weeks later. Her torso had been stabbed multiple times. The cause of her death has not been established.
Madsen has said the reporter’s death was accidental. Hald Engmark said there was no doubt Madsen dismembered Wall’s body, but told the court there was inadequate evidence proving he killed her.
The 47-year-old Dane says Wall died because of a pressure problem in the home-made submarine. Buch-Jepsen retorted Monday that “forensic experts have found nothing” backing that.
Madsen, who told the court he was “a promiscuous person,” has admitted to dismembering Wall’s body before he “buried her at sea.” He claimed he had to because he could not lift the woman’s body up the submarine tower in one piece to throw it overboard.
Hald Engmark said Madsen should only be sentenced for the “horrible” act of cutting up Wall’s body, adding that she was requesting a 6-month prison term.
“I am really, really sorry about what happened,” Madsen said, addressing the dead journalist’s parents — Ingrid and Joachim Wall — after the defense and the prosecution wrapped up their cases.
The 12-day trial started March 8, and the verdict will be delivered Wednesday at 1 p.m. (1100 GMT.)