Submarine owner arrested over missing journalist

Danish maritime authorities work on a salvage operation south of the island of Amager close to Copenhagen

A Danish inventor has been charged with the murder of a Swedish journalist who police said had been on his submarine before it was wrecked on Friday.

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.

When asked why he did not respond to radio contact earlier in the day, Madsen told them he had had technical problems, Danish navy spokesman Anders Damgaard told The Associated Press news agency. He has denied responsibility for the fate of 30-year-old Kim Wall, saying she had disembarked before his vessel went down.

Hald Engmark says Madsen is "willing to cooperate" and hasn't decided whether to appeal the detention ruling.

However, Swedish police said later on Friday they were investigating the whereabouts of a missing woman who had been on the submarine at some point.

Her family says the 30-year-old Sweden-born journalist lives in NY and Peking and had studied at the Sorbonne university in Paris and the London School of Economics.

Madsen said "a minor problem with a ballast tank. turned into a major issue" that ultimately caused the vessel - considered the largest privately-built submarine of its kind - to sink.

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Madsen, an entrepreneur known as an artist, submarine builder and aerospace engineer, went before a judge on Saturday behind closed doors for preliminary questioning.

The Sweden-born freelance journalist studied at the Sorbonne university in Paris, the London School of Economics and at Columbia University in NY, where she graduated with a master's degree in journalism in 2013. "[He] came up again and stayed in the tower until water came into it".

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.

Madsen's defence lawyer, Bettina Hald Engmark, said her client maintains he is innocent.

Madsen, who is well-known in Denmark as a co-founder of amateur rocket group Copenhagen Suborbitals, managed to escape the sinking vessel. The 40-ton, 18-meter-long craft named UC3 Nautilus was his third submarine project. He claims he dropped the woman off at Refshaleøen three hours later.

"After that it took 30 seconds for Nautilus to sink".

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