Danish submariner’s version of journalist murder disputed

Prosecutor Jakob Buch-Jepsen arrives at the courthouse where the trial of Danish inventor Peter Madsen, charged with murdering and dismembering Swedish journalist Kim Wall aboard his homemade submarine, opens in Copenhagen, Denmark March 8, 2018. (Reuters)
Updated 21 March 2018
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Danish submariner’s version of journalist murder disputed

COPENHAGEN: The trial of Danish submarine builder Peter Madsen, accused of murdering and mutilating Swedish journalist Kim Wall, resumes Wednesday as prosecutors dispute his account that she died accidentally aboard his vessel.
Madsen, 47, said at the opening of his trial on March 8 that Wall, a 30-year-old freelancer, died when the air pressure suddenly dropped and toxic fumes filled the submarine.
He has admitted to dismembering Wall’s body and throwing it overboard but denies murdering her aboard the sub where she went to interview him on August 10, 2017.
The eccentric and well-known figure in Denmark told the Copenhagen district court on the opening day that the air pressure suddenly dropped inside the vessel where Wall was located while he was up on deck.
An autopsy was unable to determine the cause of death, nor has a motive been established.
But Prosecutor Jakob Buch-Jepsen alleged he killed her as part of a sexual fantasy. He said evidence showed Madsen bound Wall around the head, arms and legs before beating her and stabbing her repeatedly in her genital area.
Prosecutors say he then killed her — probably by strangling or slitting her throat — and cut her up with a saw, stuffing her torso, head, arms and legs in separate bags weighed down with metal objects, and dumping them in Koge Bay off Copenhagen.
“I and the defense lawyer will interrogate him all day,” Buch-Jepsen told AFP ahead of Wednesday’s hearing which is to start at 0830 GMT.
Thirty-five experts and witnesses are also expected to speak in the Copenhagen district court to evaluate the credibility of Madsen’s accident scenario and help understand the psychology of the self-taught engineer, described by the prosecution as “a perverted polymorph, and highly sexually deviant.”


WhatsApp to limit message forwarding

This photo illustration shows an Indian newspaper vendor reading a newspaper with a full back page advertisement from WhatsApp intended to counter fake information, in New Delhi on July 10, 2018. (AFP)
Updated 20 July 2018
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WhatsApp to limit message forwarding

  • Indians forward more messages, photos and videos than any other country in the world

NEW DELHI: WhatsApp announced curbs on its service in India on Friday in an effort to stop a spate of horrific lynchings and to assuage government threats of legal action in its biggest market.
More than 20 people have been killed by mobs in the past two months across the country after being accused of child kidnapping and other crimes in viral messages circulated on WhatsApp.
The Facebook-owned firm said on Friday that in India it will test limiting the ability of users to forward messages, and will also experiment with a lower limit of five chats at once.
It addition, it said it will “remove the quick forward button next to media messages,” a statement said.
“We believe that these changes — which we’ll continue to evaluate — will help keep WhatsApp the way it was designed to be: a private messaging app,” it added.
Under pressure from Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s government, the firm had already announced new features to help users identify messages that have been forwarded.
WhatsApp had also bought full-page adverts in Indian newspapers with tips on how to spot misinformation.
But in a strongly worded statement released late Thursday, India’s information technology ministry said the action taken was not enough.
“Rampant circulation of irresponsible messages in large volumes on their platform have not been addressed adequately by WhatsApp,” the ministry said.
“When rumors and fake news get propagated by mischief-mongers, the medium used for such propagation cannot evade responsibility and accountability,” it said.
“If (WhatsApp) remain mute spectators they are liable to be treated as abettors and thereafter face consequent legal action.”