Danish police find decapitated head of Swedish journalist

Copenhagen Police Chief Investigator Jens Moeller Jensen gives a press briefing in connection with new findings in the case against submarine captain Peter Madsen on October 7, 2017. (AFP)
Updated 07 October 2017
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Danish police find decapitated head of Swedish journalist

COPENHAGEN: Danish police said Saturday divers had recovered the decapitated head and the legs of Swedish journalist Kim Wall, who vanished in August while interviewing a Danish inventor aboard his homemade submarine.
In a grisly case worthy of a Nordic noir thriller, Copenhagen police inspector Jens Moller Jensen told reporters divers had found bags containing her missing clothes, her head and legs in Koge Bay, south of the Danish capital.
“Last night our forensic dentist confirmed that it was Kim Wall’s head,” he said.
Her headless torso was found floating in waters off Copenhagen on August 21, 11 days after she went missing.
Self-taught engineer and inventor Peter Madsen, 46, has been accused of Wall’s death, with prosecutors saying he dismembered her body before throwing it overboard.
Madsen, who is married and has been in custody since August 11, claims the 30-year-old Wall died when a 70-kilogram (154-pound) hatch door fell on her head, and in a panic, he threw her body overboard.
He has insisted her body was intact at the time.
But Jensen said the decapitated head contradicted Madsen’s version of events.
There is “no sign of fracture on the skull and there isn’t any sign of other blunt violence to the skull,” he said, citing an autopsy carried out overnight.
Locating Wall’s head has been a priority for investigators, as the final autopsy on the torso was not able to establish the cause of death.
However, it did show multiple mutilation wounds to Wall’s genitals.
Prosecutors believe Madsen killed Wall as part of a sexual fantasy, then dismembered and mutilated her body.
Earlier this week, Prosecutor Jakob Buch-Jepsen told a court custody hearing that a hard disk found in Madsen’s workshop contained fetish films in which real women were tortured, decapitated and burned.
“This hard drive doesn’t belong to me,” Madsen insisted, saying numerous people had access to his workshop.
Madsen has insisted there was no sexual relationship between him and Wall, and their contacts had been purely professional.
Jensen said the divers on Friday found the body parts and clothes in bags weighed down with metal pieces. Her torso had also been weighed down when it was found, also in Koge Bay.
“Yesterday morning we found a bag within which we found Kim Wall’s clothes, underwear, stockings, and shoes. In the same bag laid a knife, and there were some lead pipes to weigh the bag down,” he said.
“Around dinnertime we found one leg, and then another leg. And then we found a head that also laid in a bag, and was weighed down with multiple metal pieces.”
Wall worked as a freelance journalist based in New York and China, and her articles were published in The Guardian, The New York Times and others.
At the time of her disappearance, Wall was believed to be working on a feature story about Madsen, an eccentric, well-known figure in Denmark.
Madsen has successfully launched rockets with the aim of developing private space travel.
His homemade submarine Nautilus, launched in 2008, was the biggest private sub ever made when he built it with help from a group of volunteers.
But the group became engaged in a long-running dispute over the Nautilus, before members of the board decided to transfer the vessel’s ownership to Madsen, according to the sub’s website.
In 2015, Madsen sent a text message to two members of the board claiming: “There is a curse on Nautilus.”
“That curse is me. There will never be peace on Nautilus as long as I exist,” Madsen wrote, according to the volunteers.


EXCLUSIVE: US offers India armed version of Guardian drone - sources

Updated 11 min 13 sec ago
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EXCLUSIVE: US offers India armed version of Guardian drone - sources

  • An Indian defense source said the military wanted a drone not just for surveillance but also to be able to hunt down targets at land and sea
  • The plan included a new drone export policy that allowed lethal drones that can fire missiles

FARNBOUROUGH, England: The United States has offered India the armed version of Guardian drones that were originally authorized for sale as unarmed for surveillance purposes, a senior U.S. official and an industry source told Reuters.
If the deal comes to fruition, it would be the first time Washington has sold a large armed drone to a country outside the NATO alliance.
It would also be the first high-tech unmanned aircraft in the region, where tensions between India and Pakistan run high.
In April, President Donald Trump's administration rolled out a long-awaited overhaul of U.S. arms export policy aimed at expanding sales to allies, saying it would bolster the American defense industry and create jobs at home.
The plan included a new drone export policy that allowed lethal drones that can fire missiles, and surveillance drones of all sizes, to be more widely available to allies.
One administrative hurdle to the deal is that Washington is requiring India to sign up to a communications framework that some in New Delhi worry might be too intrusive, the U.S. official said.
The drones were on the agenda at a canceled meeting between Indian and the U.S. ministers of state and defense that was set for July, the sources said. The top level meeting is now expected to take place in September.
Last June, General Atomics said the U.S. government had approved the sale of a naval variant of the drone. India has been in talks to buy 22 of the unarmed surveillance aircraft, MQ-9B Guardian, worth more than $2 billion to keep watch over the Indian Ocean.
Besides potentially including the armed version of the drone, the sources said the number of aircraft had also changed.
An Indian defense source said the military wanted a drone not just for surveillance but also to be able to hunt down targets at land and sea. The military had argued the costs of acquisition did not justify buying an unarmed drone.
The cost and integration of the weapons system are still issues, as well as Indian assent to the Communications Compatibility and Security Agreement (COMCASA) which Washington insists on as a condition for operating advanced defense systems.
India, the defense source said, has shed its opposition to the agreement after an assurance from the United States it would apply largely to U.S-procured weapons systems such as fighter planes and drones and not to the large Russian-origin equipment with the Indian military.
U.S. drone manufacturers, facing growing competition overseas, especially from Chinese and Israeli rivals which often sell under lighter restrictions, have lobbied hard for the changes in U.S export rules.
Among the changes will be a more lenient application by the U.S. government of an arms export principle known as "presumption of denial." This has impeded many drone deals by automatically denying approval unless a compelling security reason is given together with strict buyer agreements to use the weapons in accordance with international law.
A second U.S. official said the new policy would "change our calculus" by easing those restrictions on whether to allow any given sale.
The MTCR – a 1987 missile-control pact signed by the United States and 34 other countries – will still require strict export controls on Predator-type drones, which it classifies as Category 1, those with a payload of over 1,100 pounds (500 kg).
However, the Trump administration is seeking to renegotiate the MTCR accord to eventually make it easier to export the larger armed drones.
The head of Pentagon's Defense Security Cooperation Agency (DSCA) told Reuters at the Farnborough Airshow that he was unable to comment on any pending deals that had not been notified to Congress.