STOCKHOLM: Danish police said on Sunday there are signs that anamateur-built submarine at the centre of the investigation into the disappearance of a missing female reporter was “deliberately” scuttled.
Jens Moller Jensen of the Copenhagen police, who is leading the probe, made the comments after police technicians conducted an initial inspection of the submarine, but did not elaborate.
The body of the reporter, who has been missing since Friday, was also not found on board.
“No person was found on board, alive or dead,” said Moller Jensen.
The privately owned Danish submarine UC3 Nautilus sank on Friday in the Bay of Koge south of the capital, Copenhagen, shortly after its owner and designer, Peder Madsen, was rescued from it.
In brief remarks after his rescue, Madsen said there had been a problem with a ballast tank.
Moller Jensen said “a thorough investigation” of the submarine was to be conducted on Sunday and that the vessel was considered a possible crime scene.
Kim Wall, a Swedish freelance reporter, was last seen with Madsen on the submarine in Copenhagen harbour on Thursday evening. Madsen however told the Danish navy that Wall had been dropped off on land later that night.
A search for Wall was ongoing, Moller Jensen added.
“We hope to find her alive, but are also prepared that will not be the case,” he said.
A search operation involving two helicopters and three navy vessels as well as private boats had been launched after the submarine did not return to Copenhagen as scheduled.
The UC3 Nautilus was raised on Saturday and transported to a site in the Nordhavn harbour area of Copenhagen, where the 18-metre vessel was drained and boarded by technicians in protective suits and gas masks on Sunday.
Madsen has rejected charges of involuntary manslaughter in connection with Wall’s disappearance, his attorney Betina Engmark told Danish broadcaster TV2 after a judicial hearing in which Madsen was ordered to be held on remand for 24 days.
The hearing was held behind closed doors so it was not known what evidence prosecutor Louise Nielsen presented.
Madsen has given “several accounts,” Moller Jensen of the Copenhagen police said on Sunday but did not comment further. — dpa