30/10/2017 11:30 PM AEDT | Updated 31/10/2017 3:24 AM AEDT

Danish Inventor Admits Dismembering Journalist But Denies Murder

A Danish inventor has admitted dismembering a Swedish journalist and dumping her body parts in the sea, but insists he did not kill her.

Peter Madsen is charged with murdering Kim Wall in his home-made submarine in August. He denies the charge and told police she died from carbon monoxide poisoning inside the submarine while he was on the deck of the vessel. 

Wall’s headless torso was found washed ashore in Copenhagen. Her legs and skull were located separately, though her arms and mobile phone remain missing. 

TT News Agency / Reuters
Journalist Kim Wall's dismembered body was found in August 

Post-mortem evidence showed Wall was stabbed in her ribcage and genitals “around or shortly after her death.” The police said they would now extend the charges against Madsen - which already include murder and mutilating Wall’s body - to include sexual assault without intercourse, based on 14 interior and exterior stab wounds to the journalist’s genitals.

“Kim Wall had suffered 14 stabs in and around the genitals and it is due to these stabs that we have said that there must have been a sexual motive,” police spokesman Jens Moller Jensen told journalists in Copenhagen.

The cause of death was still unknown, said Jensen. Madsen, who had earlier claimed he dropped Wall off alive in Copenhage, also denies the sexual assault charges.

Scanpix Denmark / Reuters
Peter Madsen has admitted dismembering Wall's body but denies murdering her 

Wall, a 30-year-old freelance journalist who was researching a story on Madsen, went missing after he took her out to sea in the 17-metre craft in August.

Madsen has also told the court in past hearings that Wall died accidentally, saying she was hit by a heavy hatch cover on his UC3 Nautilus submarine.

He said he had been holding the hatch for Wall as they sailed in the strait between Denmark and Sweden. “I lose my foothold and the hatch shuts,” the 46-year-old said. 

“Kim had been severely hurt and was laying with an intense bleeding. There was a pool of blood where she had landed.” Police have said there was no fracture to her skull. 

Prosecutors claim footage was found on Madsen’s computer showing women “which we presume to be real” being strangled and decapitated. 

The case has been scheduled to run for eight days at Copenhagen’s district court from 8 March 2018.