Fugitive playboy urged to return to UK over 2008 student murder

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Detectives investigating the murder of a Norwegian student 10 years ago have pledged to keep the spotlight “firmly focused” on the billionaire playboy who is prime suspect in the case.

Farouk Abdulhak remains in Yemen and has refused to return to the UK where he is wanted in connection with the death of Martine Vik Magnussen in 2008.

The 23-year-old was celebrating her end-of-term exams with other students from the Regent’s Business School at the Maddox nightclub in Mayfair when she went missing in the early hours of March 14 2008.

Her body was found two days later under rubble in the basement of flats in Great Portland Street.

Abdulhak fled to the Yemen within hours of her disappearance.

As police continued to appeal for him to hand himself in a decade later, they released a CCTV clip of the pair leaving the nightclub.

Detective Chief Inspector Andy Partridge, from Scotland Yard’s murder squad, said: “A decade on and our ambition remains the same – to obtain justice for Martine.

“With this CCTV now in the public domain, our hope is that the case will not fade from public attention, keeping the spotlight firmly focused upon Farouk Abdulhak.

“Abdulhak fled to another country in the pursuit of continuing with his life and today he remains sheltered and protected in the Yemen. For 10 years this person has been avoiding our requests to return to the UK and assist the investigation.

“We have reached an important milestone, therefore this is the right time to once again appeal personally to Abdulhak to return to the UK.

“He was a guest in our country when the murder of Martine occurred and I believe the responsible thing to do is return.

“If he thought that this case would diminish, or that his wanted status would change over time, then this year’s anniversary demonstrates our resolve and that of the Magnussen family to continue to seek justice for Martine.”

Martine Vik Magnussen death
Farouk Abdulhak is suspected of murder (Metropolitan Police/PA)

“Today many are blessed with the freedom to see the world, to visit different cultures and explore new cultures.

“But I believe that that freedom should come with some responsibility and respect for the places we visit.

“10 years on today my beloved daughter Martina was murdered in this town.

“The only individual wanted for her murder fled to another country and took shelter there after having resided in the UK as a student.

“In doing so he evaded the obligation to accept the law and legal system of the UK, going against all ethical and legal standard, and running away from responsibility that comes with the privilege of travelling.”

Asked about seeing CCTV footage of his daughter, Mr Magnussen said: “Martine and the suspect were fellow students. They were friends.

“As her friends have been saying all along, they were not a couple.

“And what I saw was a completely normal activity that should never have ended up in the tragedy that we have experienced.

“In a way I was relieved to see that.

“On the other hand it is very, very challenging to see your daughter alive enjoying life.

“She loved this life.”

Mr Magnussen added: “I’m not after revenge. Neither are my family.

“We are just after justice. And to give Martine justice, our family justice.

“And again to make this platform for criminal prevention. That must be the aim forever in this case.”

Mr Magnussen also said he had “unconfirmed” information that indicates that the suspect’s life is no longer “extremely luxurious”.

He said this is likely down to the fact he is a wanted man and also the crisis in Yemen.

A post-mortem examination gave Miss Magnussen’s cause of death as compression to the neck.

An inquest at Westminster Coroner’s Court on November 24 2010 recorded a verdict of unlawful killing.

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