STOCKHOLM: A Danish inventor accused of killing a Swedish journalist on board his homemade submarine claims she died in an accident before he dumped her body in the sea, Danish police said on Monday.

Peter Madsen initially claimed that he last saw Kim Wall when he dropped her off on the tip of an island in Copenhagen late on August 10 after she had interviewed him aboard the do-it-yourself craft.

But Madsen, who has been accused of negligent manslaughter, “told police and the court that there was an accident on board the sub that led to the death of Kim Wall, and that he subsequently buried her at sea in an undefined location of the Koge Bay” south of Copenhagen, police said in a statement.

Madsen’s appearance before a judge on August 12 was held behind closed doors and the investigation has been classified, so it is not known exactly when he made his statement.

But his lawyer Betina Hald Engmark told Danish broadcaster TV2 on Monday that Madsen “had always wanted” the information on the preliminary hearing to be disclosed.

“He’s relieved right now that the information has been brought to the public,” she said. “But he is still very much affected by the situation.” Danish and Swedish authorities have been searching for Wall, a 30-year-old reporter who had been writing a feature story about Madsen, after she failed to return from an interview with him aboard the 60-foot Nautilus on August 10.

Danish police said the search for her body by helicopters, ships and divers over the weekend would continue on Monday.

Swedish daily Aftonbladet quoted a letter from Wall’s family on Friday “pleading for help from the public” about her whereabouts.

“We wish for nothing more than to have Kim back alive, but we realise that the chances are extremely slim,” her family was quoted as saying.

Wall was a freelance journalist who had reported for The Guardian and The New York Times. A graduate of the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism, she was based between New York and China.

Her friends have described her as “invincible”, “ambitious” and “always seeing something good in everyone”, according to Swedish media reports.

Published in Dawn, August 22nd, 2017

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