Woman arrested over 2008 murder of Norwegian student Martine Vik Magnussen

8 March 2022, 15:53 | Updated: 8 March 2022, 15:56

Norwegian student Martine Vik Magnussen, who was raped and killed in 2008 in London.
Norwegian student Martine Vik Magnussen, who was raped and killed in 2008 in London. Picture: Metropolitan Police

By Sophie Barnett

Detectives investigating the 2008 killing of Norwegian student Martine Vik Magnussen have made an arrest.

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A woman in her 60s was arrested on suspicion of assisting an offender on Tuesday morning, Scotland Yard said.

She was detained at an address in Westminster in what police described as a "significant development" in the investigation and is being questioned at a central London police station.

Police are still working to bring Martine's killer to justice. She was 23 years old when she was raped and killed.

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

She had been celebrating finishing her end of term exams with friends at Maddox nightclub in Mayfair on May 14 before leaving with Farouk Abdulhak, the son of a Yemeni billionaire.

Abdulhak was identified as a murder suspect but fled the UK within hours of her death, travelling to Egypt and then on to Yemen.

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Her friends reported her missing to police the following day and an investigation was launched.

Detectives discovered her body in the basement of a block of flats where Abdulhak lived. Attempts had been made to conceal her beneath rubble.

She died from a compression to the neck and had also been raped, a post-mortem examination found.

An inquest at Westminster Coroner's Court in 2010 recorded a verdict of unlawful killing.

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Detective Chief Inspector Jim Eastwood, who leads the investigation, said though the arrest represents a positive step, there is still "much more work" to be done.

He appealed directly to Abdulhak, calling on him to "come back and face justice".

"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," he said.

“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.

"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."

Anyone with any information that could assist the investigation is asked to contact the incident room on 020 8358 0300. You can also contact the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.