Martine Vik Magnussen: Woman in 60s arrested over 2008 murder and rape of Norwegian student in London

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Norwegian student Martine Vik Magnussen, 23, was murdered on March 14 2008 after leaving a Mayfair club with Farouk Abdulhak at 2am.

A woman in her 60s has been arrested in the hunt for the rapist and killer of Norwegian student Martine Vik Magnussen, murdered in London in 2008.

In what police describe as a “significant development” the woman was arrested this morning at an address in Westminster on suspicion of assisting an offender.

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She was taken into custody at a central London police station where she currently remains.

Martine, 23, was murdered on March 14 2008 after leaving a Mayfair club with Farouk Abdulhak at 2am.

She had been celebrating the end of exams with friends.

Her body was discovered partially covered, surrounded by rubble in a basement of a property on Great Portland Street.

A post-mortem examination gave her cause of death as compression to the neck. She had also been raped.

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Martine Vik Magnussen who was raped and murdered after leaving a Mayfair club in 2008. Credit: Met PoliceMartine Vik Magnussen who was raped and murdered after leaving a Mayfair club in 2008. Credit: Met Police
Martine Vik Magnussen who was raped and murdered after leaving a Mayfair club in 2008. Credit: Met Police | Met Police

Abdulhak, the son of billionaire sugar magnate and one of Yemen’s wealthiest men Shaher Adbulhak, fled the UK within hours travelling to Egypt and then on to Yemen.

Both Abdulhak and Ms Magnussen, a Norwegian socialite, studied international business relations together at the private Regent’s Business School.

A Met Police spokesperson said: “The arrest marks a significant development in the investigation into the murder of Martine, who was aged 23 when she was killed on 14 March 2008.”

Det Ch Insp Jim Eastwood leading the investigation added: “Martine’s family has never given up their fight for justice and in the 14 years since her death they have campaigned tirelessly to keep her in the public consciousness.

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“Martine’s family has been informed of this latest development. Though it represents a positive step, there is still much more work for us to do.

“Most importantly, Farouk Abdulhak should be aware that this matter has not, and will not, go away.

“My team and I will continue to seek justice and use all opportunities available to pursue him and bring him back to the UK.

“His status as a wanted man will remain and we will not cease in our efforts to get justice for Martine’s family.

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“I’m appealing to Farouk Abdulhak directly. Come back to the UK. Come back to face justice.

“Since Martine’s death, her family has shown true determination, together with my investigation team as we want to provide some closure for Martine’s family.”

Martine’s father Odd Petter Magnussen branded Abdulhak a coward and personally appealed for him to return.

Speaking last year he said: “In today’s globalised world, you cannot hide forever from the oldest and most serious crime known to man – the rape and murder of a woman.

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“I appeal to you to return to the UK to assist the police in finding out what happened to Martine.

“I regard you as a coward unless you take responsibility for your actions.”

Police launched an investigation after Martine’s friends reported her missing to police on March 15 2008.

Martine had been out celebrating finishing her end of term exams with her friends at the Maddox nightclub in Mayfair – she left them, in the company of Abdulhak, at around 2am on March 14 2008.

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On March 16 2008, officers making enquiries to trace her visited the residential block where Abdulhak lived on Great Portland Street in Westminster, where they discovered her body at about 10.30am.

Attempts had been made to conceal her beneath rubble.

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