A woman in her 60s has been arrested on suspicion of murdering a Norwegian student found dead in London more than a decade ago.
Martine Vik Magnussen disappeared after a night out at the Maddox nightclub in Mayfair in March 2008. The 23-year-old celebrated his exam results with students from the city’s Regent School of Business, including Farouk Abdulhak, son of a Yemeni billionaire.
CCTV footage shows her leaving the club at around 2am with Abdulhak, “whom she dated before”, said Daily mail. Two days later, her semi-naked body was found “among the ruins” in the basement of the building where Abdulhak lived on Great Portland Street in Westminster. She was raped and strangled.
The BBC reported that “within hours of her passing” Abdulhak traveled to Egypt and then to Yemen, allegedly on his father’s private jet.
An autopsy found Magnussen’s cause of death was a compression on the neck, and an inquest in 2010 recorded a conviction for unlawful murder.
Magnussen was born in Oslo on 6 February 1985 and grew up in Nesøya, a small island east of the Norwegian capital.
After graduating from private school, she enrolled to study medicine at the Medical University of Warsaw in Poland. But then she moved on to study international business at London’s Regent School of Business.
Magnussen’s friends describe her as “gentle, sociable and generous”, while her father says she is a “light, cheerful, delightful person” and a “pure sunshine”.
In an article for Daily telegram In 2009, to mark the one-year anniversary of her daughter’s death, Odd Petter Magnussen said that by “interacting with her international classmates in London, Martine came closer to the definition of a textbook.” of tolerance so highly valued in today’s secular world.”
Wanted by the police
Abdulhak, described by the BBC as a “billionaire playboy”, has been wanted in the UK for more than a decade and is the subject of an international arrest warrant.
According to Martine Foundation For Justicean initiative created by friends of Magnussen, Abdulhak is currently on Scotland Yard’s list of 12 most wanted criminals, “based on his movements in the hours following the murder, as well as physical evidence found at the crime scene.”
He is the son of the late Shaher Abdulhak, who had a net worth of around £6.8 billion and was nicknamed the “Sugar King” after investing in Coca-Cola bottling plants. Billionaire tycoon died of cancer in 2020.
His son – who his friends called “DP” because of his love of Dom Perignon champagne – studied international business relations with Magnussen at Regent’s Business School. At the time of her death, he had Syrian, Egyptian, and US passports.
Reports suggest he did not have a Yemeni passport when he left the UK but was later issued one by the Yemeni authorities.
In 2008, Abdulhak released a statement through his attorney that he was “displeased about being portrayed as a criminal, a murderer, when no charges have been brought against him.” .
In February 2014, London Evening Standard reported that Abdulhak was married “in a secret location” in the Yemeni capital Sana’a.
Responding to news of Abdulhak’s marriage, Magnussen’s father said he was “deeply disappointed”.
“I can only regret that now the father and son feel comfortable enough to arrange this wedding,” he said. “I sympathize with the bride.”
The newspaper added that Abdulhak is living “a normal life” and spends most of his time in his suite at the Taj Sheba, a five-star hotel in Sana’a owned by his father.
There is no extradition treaty
Despite many international efforts, the Met Police were still unable to question Abdulhak, as there is no extradition treaty between the UK and Yemen.
An ongoing campaign by the Martine Foundation For Justice has the backing of high-profile figures including former Norwegian prime minister Kjell Magne Bondevik, but all through diplomatic channels to force Abdulhak back to Britain for questioning. all failed.
The London Evening Standard reported in 2014 that “high-level” talks were taking place between then-Foreign Secretary William Hague and his Yemeni counterpart, Abu Bakr al-Qirbi, and between Scotland’s lawyers Yard and Abdulhak . But so far, there has been little progress on the case.
In what Met Police described as “an important breakthrough”, a woman was arrested yesterday morning at a Westminster address on suspicion of assisting an inmate.
The unnamed woman was taken to central London police station and released on bail later today.
“Farouk Abdulhak should know that this problem has not, and will not go away,” Detective Chief Inspector Jim Eastwood said. “My teammates and I will continue to seek justice and use every opportunity we have to pursue him and bring him back to the UK.
“I appeal directly to Farouk Abdulhak – come back to the UK. Come back to face justice.”
Magnussen’s father said he was “extremely grateful” to UK police for “continuing to apply pressure” and make the arrest, Time reported.
He added: “I have also worked behind the scenes, talking to the regime in Yemen for the past six months and am really optimistic that one day we will extradite Farouk Abdulhak. We have never been closer.”
https://www.theweek.co.uk/news/crime/956017/what-happened-to-martine-vik-magnussen What happened to Martine Vik Magnussen?