Danish appeals court upholds sub killer's life sentence

Peter Madsen in a court drawing by Anne Gyrite Schutt made available by Danish news agency Ritzau SCANPIX
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A Danish appeals court on Wednesday upheld a life sentence against Peter Madsen for the 2017 murder of a Swedish journalist aboard his homemade submarine. Madsen, 47, had asked the Copenhagen appeals court to reduce the sentence, but did not contest the guilty verdict handed down by the district court on April 25 for the murder of 30-year-old Wall. Madsen's lawyer Betina Hald Engmark said she and her client would study Wednesday's ruling before deciding whether to appeal it to the Supreme Court. Madsen has argued Wall's death was an accident, but admitted to chopping up her corpse and throwing her body parts into the sea in August 2017. He had asked the appeals court to give him a lighter sentence, arguing that life behind bars was "disproportionate". Life sentences are rarely handed down for a single killing in Denmark. In the past 10 years, only three people have received such sentences. A life sentence in Denmark averages around 16 years. Twenty-five inmates are currently serving life behind bars in the country. The prosecution had insisted that Madsen's life sentence was justified, given the grisly nature of the murder and his highly detailed planning. "There is no punishment that is too harsh for this man," prosecutor Kristian Kirk told reporters after the ruling. The court, which was unanimous in its ruling, said the case was one of "unusual brutality" and there were "aggravating circumstances" because the crime was "meticulously planned". On August 10, 2017, Wall, an award-winning reporter, boarded the submarine with Madsen, an eccentric and self-taught engineer, to interview him for an article she was writing. Wall's boyfriend reported her missing when she failed to return home that night. Her dismembered body parts were later found on the seabed, weighted down in plastic bags.

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