Danish inventor denies killing Swedish journalist

Danish inventor Peter Madsen has denied murdering Swedish journalist Kim Wall on his home-made submarine at the opening of his trial.

Wall, a 30-year-old freelance journalist who was researching a story on the entrepreneur and aerospace engineer, went missing after Madsen took her out to sea in his 17-metre submarine in August last year.

Later that month, police identified a headless female torso washed ashore in Copenhagen as Ms Wall's.

"The accused denies voluntary manslaughter, but admits violating the law about indecent handling of a corpse," Madsen's lawyer Betina Hald Engmark said in court.

Under the Danish criminal law, manslaughter is used to describe the deliberate killing of a person and there is no distinction between manslaughter and murder. Involuntary manslaughter is used when the killing is not intentional.

Madsen is charged with murdering and dismembering Ms Wall, along with a charge of sexual assault without intercourse of a particularly dangerous nature.

He has admitted dismembering her body on board his submarine and dumping her body parts in the sea.

"He maintains that she died as a consequence of an accident," Hald Engmark told TV2 News before entering the court.

The cause of her death is yet to be determined, but the prosecutors said she died by strangulation or cutting of her throat.