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Sunken sub owner held over missing journalist

A court has ruled that a Danish inventor can be held for 24 days while police investigate the disappearance of a Swedish journalist.

Peter Madsen, 46, was arrested on preliminary manslaughter charges on Friday after he was rescued from his home-made submarine when it sank off Denmark’s eastern coast.

He denies any involvement in the disappearance of 30-year-old Kim Wall who had been on board the 60ft-long vessel before it sank.

Ms Wall had been writing about Madsen for a story and is believed to have set sail with him from Refshale Island at 7pm on Thursday.

Her boyfriend reported her missing in the early hours of Friday morning saying she had failed to return from her trip.

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Madsen was arrested after he was rescued from his home-made submarine

But Madsen says he returned Ms Wall to land at 10.30pm on Thursday and has denied any involvement in her disappearance.

A search for the missing submarine was launched after Ms Wall’s boyfriend raised the alarm.

The Navy said the US3 Nautilus was initially seen sailing normally but sank shortly afterwards in Koge Bay, south of Copenhagen.

Madsen escaped from the submarine as it sank and was rescued by a private boat.

He told Denmark’s TV2 channel there had been a problem with a ballast tank and that it only took 30 seconds for the sub to sink.

A salvage vessel has raised the sub to the surface where it is expected to be transported back to land at some point.

Helicopters and ships searched the bay after the submarine was reported missing
Image:
Helicopters and ships searched the bay after the submarine was reported missing

The decision to rescind Madsen in custody for a further 24 days was made by a judge after a two-hour custody hearing.

Madsen’s defence lawyer said her client maintains he is innocent but is “willing to cooperate” and has not decided whether to appeal the ruling.

Copenhagen police have appealed for anyone who may have seen Ms Wall to contact them.

They described her as “160cm tall, 56kg, 30 years old, with reddish-brown hair and green eyes”.

She was wearing an orange blouse with long sleeves, a black and white floral skirt, nylon stockings and white tennis shoes when she disappeared.

According to her family Ms Wall lived in New York and Beijing, and had written for The New York Times, The Guardian, the South China Morning Post and Vice Magazine, among others.


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