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13 August 2017, 09:49 | Devin Moran
Danish submarine inventor charged over disappearance of Swedish journalist
A Danish court has ordered the owner of an amateur-built submarine be held in pre-trial detention for 24 days while authorities investigate the mystery disappearance of a Swedish journalist who was aboard the vessel before it sank.
After his 18-meter-long vessel went down near Copenhagen he said the missing journalist - feared drowned - left him before it sank.
"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. First launched in 2008, the ship was famous for being the world's biggest privately owned submarine, but it had sat in disrepair for seven years until April.
Mr Madsen was rescued, but there was no trace of the woman.
While the UC3 Nautilus was going down, Isbak says "came up again, stayed in the tower until water came into it as the submarine started sinking".
"Whether the woman was on board the submarine at the time of her disappearance is unclear", police said.
Madsen told police he had dropped off Wall not far from where their journey began, but after she was later reported missing, authorities suspected she may have been inside the submarine when it sank. "But I guess that was pretty good, because I otherwise still would have been down there". "They were the only two on board [on Thursday]".
According to the Copenhagen Post, a search of the vessel is likely to be carried out once it has been towed to port later on Saturday.
Madsen's company RML Spacelab is seeking to send people into space and is developing a rocket, floating launch pad and astronaut testing machine, its website says. "I design and manufacture non-commercial extreme machines, employing teams of volunteering engineers and technicians to challenge the ordinary...."
Two helicopters and three ships combed the sea from Copenhagen to the Baltic Sea island of Bornholm after police received the report it had not got back to land just after 3.30am. Eventually a lighthouse in Koge Bay, about 30 kilometers (19 miles) south of Copenhagen, spotted the craft at 10:30 a.m. on Friday. It was expected to arrive in the Danish capital by the end of the evening, said a police statement. Madsen was the owner of the sunk submarine.
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.
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