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Submarine owner arrested over missing journalist

13 Août 2017

The Danish owner of a homemade submarine that sank south of Copenhagen has been arrested on suspicion of murdering a Swedish journalist who was a passenger on the vessel.

Madsen, whose submarine sunk near Køge on Friday, denies the charges.

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.

The 40 tonne ship, named the UC3 Nautilus, was one of three that the entrepreneur had built.

"We call on Danish authorities to employ all efforts and resources to carry out an exhaustive inquiry into Kim Wall's fate and whereabouts", CPJ Europe and Central Asia Program Coordinator Nina Ognianova said. Madsen, 46, was charged with the manslaughter of Kim Wall on the same day he was rescued from the sea by the Danish navy.

"Peter Madsen faces preliminary charges (of manslaughter) for having killed in an unknown way and in an unknown place Kim Isabell Frerika Wall of Sweden sometime after Thursday 5pm", prosecutor Louise Pedersen told a packed courtroom.

A salvage vessel, the Vina, was Saturday working on raising the submarine, which was seven metres under water off Copenhagen's south island of Dragoer.

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Local broadcaster TV2 aired footage of Madsen getting off the private boat and giving a thumbs-up sign, but the journalist was nowhere to be seen.

"A radio contact was established for the boat, which, according to the owner, was heading towards the harbor", the police statement said.

Madsen told authorities he had dropped her off back at their departure point at about 10:30 p.m.

There was no trace of the woman, however, and police launched a search.

"I am fine, but sad because Nautilus went down", he told TV 2.

"It took about 30 seconds for Nautilus to sink, and I couldn't close any hatches or anything", Madsen said.

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.

Submarine owner arrested over missing journalist