Published: Sun, August 13, 2017
Global Media | By Meredith Barber

Danish submarine owner accused of causing Swedish journalist's death

Danish submarine owner accused of causing Swedish journalist's death

A Danish submarine owner has been charged over the death of a Swedish female journalist who had been on board his vessel before it sank. Divers were initially unable to safely enter it.

Prosecutor Louise Pedersen told a packed courtroom today Madsen faces the preliminary charges "for having killed in an unknown way and in an unknown place Kim Isabell Frerika Wall of Sweden sometime after Thursday 5 p.m".

Miss Wall, 30, has not been seen since the ill-fated voyage, though Madsen claims he dropped her off on an island in Copenhagen's harbor not long into the voyage.

According to a statement Wall's family shared with CPJ today, the 30-year-old Swedish-born journalist, who was based in NY and Beijing, was working on a story about inventor Peter Madsen when she went missing.

Before his arrest, Madsen told TV2 that the submarine sank when a minor ballast problem rapidly escalated and sunk the boat. "But I guess that was pretty good, because I otherwise still would have been down there".

Copenhagen Deputy Police Inspector Jens Moller Jensen said investigators were looking for witnesses who may have seen the woman after the time Madsen reported she disembarked.

The police in Sweden said they had tried without success to contact her by phone and that her family had not heard from her.

Authorities are reportedly in the process of salvaging the submarine. "They were the only two on board yesterday".

According to the Copenhagen Post, a search of the vessel is likely to be carried out once it has been towed to port later on Saturday.

"My passion is finding ways to travel to worlds beyond the well-known", Madsen wrote on the site. "Diving, no matter the method, is very challenging and it*s technically hard to go to beyond where rubber suits and scuba gear can take us".

Two helicopters and three ships combed the sea from Copenhagen to the Baltic Sea island of Bornholm after police received the report it had not got back to land just after 3.30am.

A salvage ship, the Vina, is working to raise the vessel which came to rest on the sea bed close to Copenhagen's south island of Dragoer. It was expected to arrive in the Danish capital by the end of the evening, said a police statement.

"He then climbed down inside the submarine and there was then some kind of air flow coming up and the submarine started to sink", Mr Isbak said.

Madsen "told us he had technical problems" when asked to explain why the submarine failed to respond to radio contact earlier in the day, Damgaard said.

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