Murder of Martine Vik Magnussen

The Martine Vik Magnussen case involves the rape and murder of 23-year-old Norwegian female business student Martine Vik Magnussen.[1] Her body was found hidden under rubble in the basement of a block of flats in Great Portland Street, Marylebone, London, on 16 March 2008.[2] She died from compression to the neck,[1] the cause of strangulation.[3]

Murder of Martine Vik Magnussen
Great Portland Street, where Magnussen's body was found in a block of flats.
Date14 March 2008
LocationGreat Portland Street, Marylebone, London

Farouk Abdulhak, the son of billionaire and one of Yemen's wealthiest men Shaher Abdulhak, is the only suspect in the case.[1]

In March 2023, a BBC journalist reported that the suspect said to her (but not in person), that "I don't remember what happened". When the journalist was back in England, he allegedly texted her: "It was just an accident. [...] Just a sex accident gone wrong".[4]

Murder and investigation edit

Magnussen was last seen alive sometime between 02:00 and 03:00 GMT on 14 March 2008 at the Maddox nightclub in London's wealthy Mayfair district, more than a mile from the basement where her body was found. The club's official website states that since its opening, it has been London's hottest members' club, attracting everyone from P Diddy to Keira Knightley.[5] Friends reported Magnussen missing to police on 15 March 2008.[3] Police appealed for a man of Arab appearance, with whom Magnussen is believed to have left the club, to come forward.

In early April 2008, it was still unknown when Magnussen's body was to be returned to Norway from London,[6] but in late April it was known that the body was being returned, and a funeral was to be held in Asker, off Oslo in April/May 2008.[7]

As of March 2016, Detective Chief Inspector Andy Partridge of the Metropolitan Police Service's Homicide & Major Crime Command has said:

This case is still very much a live investigation. Farouk Abdulhak remains wanted for the rape and murder of Martine Vik Magnussen. Farouk Abdulhak has known for the past eight years now that he is wanted for the rape and murder of Magnussen. There have been extensive diplomatic efforts made over this time to return him to the UK, to no avail. This anniversary should serve as a further reminder that he cannot put this behind him, it will not go away and I appeal to him and those close to him to advise him to return to the UK to stand trial.[8]

2008 arrest of suspected accomplice edit

On 30 April 2008, a man in his 50s was arrested, on suspicion of assisting an offender.[9]

2022 arrest of second suspected accomplice edit

On 8 March 2022, police announced the arrest of an unnamed woman on charges of "assisting an offender" in the case.[10] The woman is in her 60s.[11]

Missing items edit

A number of items Magnussen wore when she was last seen, were not found when police discovered her body. Scotland Yard has published photos of similar items.[12] The missing items are: Christian Dior earrings, snakeskin shoes, a Marc Jacobs handbag, a Guess watch, a silver costume diamond ring, and her jeans (described as blue and of a "skinny" fit).[13][14][15][16]

Suspect edit

Scotland Yard wishes to question the man that Magnussen left the club with on the night she was murdered, Farouk Abdulhak, her fellow student and the son of billionaire and one of Yemen's wealthiest men Shaher Abdulhak.[17][18][19] Abdulhak and Magnussen were seen leaving the Maddox nightclub in the early hours of 14 March 2008,[20] and getting into a cab together.[3] He lived in the block of flats where she was found.[2] Police have flight records showing that Abdulhak left London for Cairo on 14 March 2008, and believe he then fled to Yemen.[3][21][9] It is believed that the suspect proceeded from Cairo to Sanaa, capital of Yemen, in his father's private plane.

On 30 July 2008, he was officially named a suspect by the Metropolitan Police, and listed as wanted on Scotland Yard's "Wanted" site.[1]

In March 2023, the BBC claimed that the victim had been in the suspect's apartment on several occasions; furthermore, the BBC reported that a named friend of the victim had said that Magnussen "would often crash at his flat as it was so central".[4]

Abdulhak is understood by the police (as of 30 July 2008) to be living in Yemen.[1] Since the UK requested to question Abdulhak, there has been the 2011–12 revolution in the country and a civil war, which started in 2014, is ongoing.[22]

Victim edit

Martine Vik Magnussen was born in Nesøya, in Asker, Norway.

Magnussen was a former student at Kristelig Gymnasium in Oslo, Norway, a private Christian school. She worked for clothing retail stores in Oslo, such as Massimo Dutti.[23] In 2006, she went to Poland to study medicine, but quit the studies after six months. In early 2007, she went to London, where she worked for six months, before she commenced her studies at Regents Business School London in autumn 2007. On the night of her murder, she was celebrating coming top of her class.[3][24]

Other reactions to the murder include: a march was held in Oslo on 1 December 2009 calling for further action from Norwegian authorities.[25]

The father of Martine Vik Magnussen speaks to the press

On 10 June 2010, her father paid tribute to the Metropolitan Police and the British authorities at a remembrance event hosted by her family at Regent's College and unveiled a tree planted in her memory.[citation needed]

References edit

  1. ^ a b c d e Suspect named in Norwegian student's murder Archived 6 August 2008 at the Wayback Machine, Aftenposten, 30 July 2008
  2. ^ a b "Police quiz clubbers over Martine". BBC News. 21 March 2008. Retrieved 23 March 2008.
  3. ^ a b c d e Martine Vik Magnussen was strangled after celebrating exam success, Times Online, 26 April 2008
  4. ^ a b Nawal Al-Maghafi (28 March 2023). "Martine Vik Magnussen: Billionaire's son admits role in death to BBC". BBC News. Retrieved 28 March 2023.
  5. ^ "Dead student last seen leaving celebrity nightclub". CNN. 18 March 2008. Retrieved 20 March 2008.
  6. ^ Martines båre holdes fortsatt tilbake i England Archived 11 April 2008 at the Wayback Machine (Norwegian), Aftenposten, 10 April 2008
  7. ^ Martine's body to be returned Archived 24 April 2008 at the Wayback Machine, Aftenposten, 22 April 2008
  8. ^ "Anniversary appeal following murder of Martine Vik Magnussen". Archived from the original on 11 September 2016. Retrieved 6 September 2016.
  9. ^ a b Arrest made in Martine murder Archived 10 May 2008 at the Wayback Machine, Aftenposten, 2 May 2008
  10. ^ "UPDATE: Woman arrested in connection with 2008 murder of Martine Vik Magnussen bailed". Metropolitan Police. 8 March 2022. Archived from the original on 8 March 2022. Retrieved 13 March 2022.
  11. ^ "Farouk Abdulhak innrømmer ansvar for Martine Vik Magnussens død" [Farouk Abdulhak admits responsibility for Martine Vik Magnussen's death]. (in Norwegian). 28 March 2023. Retrieved 28 March 2023.
  12. ^ "– 21-åring kan ikke utleveres" (in Norwegian). Adressa. 21 March 2008. Archived from the original on 24 March 2008. Retrieved 27 March 2008.
  13. ^ "Mystery Swirls Around Norwegian Beauty's Death". ABC News. 26 March 2008. Retrieved 27 March 2008.
  14. ^ Butcher, Tim (22 March 2008). "Martine suspect 'took her gear as trophies'". The Daily Telegraph. London. Archived from the original on 25 March 2008. Retrieved 27 March 2008.
  15. ^ "Riddle of the dead Norwegian socialite and missing student son". The Herald. March 2008. Retrieved 27 March 2008.[permanent dead link]
  16. ^ "Murdered Norwegian socialite Martine Vik Magnussen was semi-naked when her body was found". The Mirror. 20 March 2008. Retrieved 27 March 2008.[permanent dead link]
  17. ^ Student death police hunt man, 23, BBC News, 18 March 2008
  18. ^ Playboy flees after socialite murder, Herald Sun, 20 March 2008
  19. ^ "Family of man sought in student's death hires a lawyer". Aftenposten.
  20. ^ Hazell, Ben; Butcher, Tim; Edwards, Richard (25 March 2008). "Arab student denies killing Norwegian woman". The Daily Telegraph. London. Retrieved 25 March 2008.[dead link]
  21. ^ Tycoon's son wanted over Facebook murder Archived 21 March 2008 at the Wayback Machine,
  22. ^ Suspect named in student murder, BBC News, 30 July 2008
  23. ^ "Vi kjente henne ikke som jetsetter". Dagbladet (in Norwegian). 19 March 2008. Retrieved 26 March 2008.
  24. ^ ""Vi kjente henne ikke som jetsetter"". 19 March 2008.
  25. ^ Hundreds in student murder march, BBC News, 2 December 2009

External links edit