Danish submarine sub owner accused over journalist's death

The submarine was Madsen's third attempt at building such a structure and was the largest privately built submarine in the world at the time of its launch in 2008

A Danish inventor faces a potential life sentence after being accused of killing a journalist who visited his 18m-long ship before it sank off the country's eastern coast on Friday.

Peter Madsen faces manslaughter charges over the disappearance of the female journalist.

According to the BBC, the woman has been identified by friends as Kim Wall, a freelance journalist based in Beijing who travels extensively.

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

The navy initially said the sub was "found sailing" south of Copenhagen, but Mr Damgaard later said the 40-ton, 60ft-long submarine had sunk.

Madsen in the courtroom smiling, chatting with his defense lawyer. The court was then closed for deliberation as judge Kari Soerensen deliberated her decision.

Kristian Isbak, who had answered the call to help locate the ship, saw Mr Madsen standing in the submarine's tower dressed in trademark military fatigues while it was still afloat. "(He) came up again and stayed in the tower until water came into it" before swimming to a nearby boat as the submarine sank, he added.

Mr Madsen appeared calm during an interview with Danish television shortly after the submarine sank, saying: "I am fine, but sad because Nautilus went down".

The journalist was born in Sweden and studied at the London School of Economics, Columbia University in NY and the Sorbonne in Paris.

A look at her Facebook page reveals she has written stories all over the world for the likes of the New York Times and the Guardian. It can carry up to eight people and can dive up to 470m, although in practice it has rarely gone beyond 40m.

A salvage vessel was working Saturday to raise the submarine.

Madsen (46) financed his submarine project through crowdfunding and completed the submarine, the UC3 Nautilus, in 2008.

Copenhagen Police have appealed for witnesses who might have been at Refshaleøen at around 19:00 and 22:30 - the times Madsen claims his submarine left and returned. The navy says that the 40-ton, almost 18-meter-long (60-foot-long) submarine with at least two people on board had been "found sailing" south of Copenhagen.

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